Brazil travel blog by Mark Berman -
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I had heard that Belo Horizonte is a great city for food and that the main Central Market is something not to be missed! Brazil in general is
a top destination for food from many cultures and it's always close at hand. I know this personally of course from having been to over 30
cities and places here! Before arriving in Belo Horizonte by plane I was in Sao Luis, an historic city a long way north.
About Central Market
Central Market is located
on Av. Augusto de Lima, 744 - Centro. I walked here from my hotel across the road from the bus terminal (10-15mins). Broadly speaking Central
Market is about food and crafts but it's also a place where the local people gather at one of the informal bars and restaurants throughout the
building. It's both a market and an event in many ways! The official website
of Central Market.
Smile and Say Cheese!
Cheese is in high demand in Belo Horizonte and
Central Market caters to this demand in flying colors! Many shops specialize in the finest cheeses. Varieties of Ricota, Goiabada (Guava cheese),
Requeijao (Creamy cheeses), Burrata (Italian cheese), Gorgonzola (Italian blue veined cheese), Leite de Cabra (Goats cheese), Mozzarella, Canastra
(Sao Roque cheese), Parmesan, Serro (yellow-white cheese), Smoked cheeses, Provolone (an aged Italian cheese), Camembert (ripe and creamy cheese),
Cured cheeses and Padrao (standard cheese). And there are many more types of cheeses for your taste buds to enjoy inside Central Market!
Chilies and Peppers
Chilies are another product at Central Market that come in many varieties, flavours, shapes, textures and colors! Red, orange, green, yellow,
chocolate colored and Mexican. These chilies look dangerously hot to me and the very sight of them could bring tears to your eyes! Paraiso das
Pimentas is one such shop selling chilies at Central Market. Their products are from the northern Minas region. Products include fresh peppers
and chilies, preserves, vegetables in miniature and varieties of sauces. You can buy the chilies in jars pickled with vinegar at amazing prices,
Crafts and Souvenirs
Crafts in Brazil come in high quality and there is a lot to choose from at Central Market! Fashionable bags, figures and cultural dolls, cane baskets and vases,
colored glass mobiles and other hanging ornaments, little signs, large shiny wooden tigers and other wooden products and toys and games for
children. Small and large, it's all here!
Dried fruit and nuts, grains, flowers, ranges of beer, plant seeds, plastic fruit, fancy kitchen instruments, birds and pets,
coffee and tea ranges, health products, cooking spices and powders, sweets.
Feijoada is the National Dish
Some of the dishes you are likely to find on the
menus of restaurants at Central Market in Belo Horizonte include: Platters of Beef Liver, Chicken Steak, Chicken Gravy, 2 Fried Eggs,
Omelete, Mince, Sausage, Chicken Stew, Beef Stew and Pork Steak. These platters are all served with rice, beans, mixed salad and the side dish
of the day! Feijoada is the national dish of black beans and smoked pork stew served with rice, farofa (seasoned cassava flour sauteed with
onion and garlic), collard greens and vinaigrette! These dishes go for $15-22 Reals.
2hrs by Bus to Ouro Preto
From Belo Horizonte I took a bus from the
central Rodoviaria terminal to Ouro Preto
, just 2hrs away. I had seen some amazingly fantastic street art and murals on the outskirts of the
city while in the taxi from the airport. I even thought about heading back out there at one point to get some pictures. Luckily though I could
see on the map that the likely route to get to Ouro Preto would pass by these huge murals again and I was right. I did get some good, sometimes
abstract photos of these great works of art! Belo Horizonte is surrounded by mountains so as you climb out of the city, after around 15-20 minutes you get some big wide views of the whole shebang on the right-hand side.