Where: Belem – the mouth of the Amazon river in North Brazil.
What’s in store: Fresh cargo, amazing fish and medicinal herbs.
Best Buy: Amulets to ward off an evil eye.
Watch out for: A three toed sloth.
Belem is situated at the mouth of the Amazon River in northern Brazil. It’s the capital and economic centre of the state of Para. The famous Ver-O-Peso Market stretches along the waterfront and is a curious combination of fishmongers, vegetable market and tourist attraction.
Foods to Find Here
The market is open all day, but you should aim to arrive early when boats laden with fresh fish, meat and fruit bring their cargo to market. This is the best time to bag the freshest produce.
Belem has a distinctive regional cuisine featuring an astounding array of fruits from the rainforest and fish from the Amazon basin. In fact, biologists can only identify 70% of the weird and wonderful species of fish on sale at the Ver-o-Peso market. Stranger still are the peculiar medicinal herbs derived from rainforest plants and roots, cures for uncommon ailments – such as crocodile teeth, bottled snakes and three toed sloths – and amulets to ward off the evil eye. Ver-o-Peso is a colourful market which provides the traveller with a window into local culture,in a remote and challenging environment.
Main image: Mauricio Mercer on Flickr at Ver-o-Peso market in Belém, Brazil.