Exploring Brasilia’s Markets!

21 Nov

One of the things I love the most in any country is going to markets. I feel that markets represent the heart and soul of a country or city, and it offers you a glimpse into the everyday lives of the people living there.

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The CEASA – a lovely open air farmers market.

As much as I enjoy visiting markets, I also enjoy shopping at them. Not only do I feel that I get a better understanding of where my food comes from, but I feel as though my money is going directly to the local community and not to big corporations like Walmart. This may be a far cry from the actual truth and a naive thought at that, but ultimately it makes me feel good!

Mexico was great for markets! Two of my most memorable market experiences where in San Juan Market in Mexico City which is the food meca for all foodies, and then the live animal market we visited in Oaxaca.

C and I have recently discovered a few markets here in Brasilia, and I can honestly say that I am glad that we did, as it has cut down our grocery spending by almost half! Our favourite market so far is CEASA which is located in the north of the city. Apparently, during the week it is a wholesale produce market where the restaurants and hotels buy their food from, but on Saturday’s it is open to the public and sells retail.

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what a wonderful combination of colours!

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Not only is the produce far fresher and cheaper than what you can find in the supermarkets here, there is also a better variety that you can choose between. Although the focus seems to be on fruit and vegetables there are a few smaller artisanal stalls focusing on things like honey, cured meats and fresh cheese. Unfortunately I did not see a place that I would trust to buy meat or poultry from as none of the stalls looked very sanitary, so am still relying on Carrefour for these items (however I am keeping my eyes open for a good butcher!).

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Fresh Brazilian Cheese

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Various cured meats.

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They even have home remedies..apparently this little bottle ‘Cures Everything!’

What I really like about CEASA compared to other markets we have been to in Brasilia, is that it is light and airy and it feels clean and safe. The vendors are all very personable and accommodating and have the patients to indulge me with a smile when I’m talking at them in my broken Portuguese/Spanish. Even though it is much cheaper here than in any of the other supermarkets, what I would keep an eye out for however, is being ripped off. Nobody likes to be ripped off no matter how cheap!Don’t do what I did when I picked up a handful of good looking vegetables and then got thrown back how much 5 items cost, to only become embarrassed and paid for in any way!  Most of the stalls and vendors display their prices on little boards so stick to these guys, and you can even haggle a bit.

Right next to the CEASA is a nursery or flower shop that is also only open on Saturdays. I love this place and have bought a number of orchids and potted plants here, all of which are still alive today….which I am attributing solely to this market and not my gardening skills! The variety of plants here are amazing, and it is just worth to pop your head in and take a look, although I warn you now as it can be dangerous – there is no way you will leave this place empty handed!

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These remind me of my wedding :)

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Apparently the CEASA opens at 6am and for all you die hard food shoppers out there, this is considered the best time to go in order to get the best produce. There is no way I will be getting up at 6am on my Saturday morning, however the earlier you make it the better it is. Around 10am things start to sell out and by 11am the stores look like they are starting to shut down.

If you are living in Brasilia, or here for a holiday (ha ha ha like you would come here for a holiday!) it is worth making the effort to visit the CEASA. Once you shop here, there is no other way to shop in Brasilia!

Address: Sia Trecho 10 Lote 5 – CEP: 71.208-900

http://www.ceasa.df.gov.br/

7 Responses to “Exploring Brasilia’s Markets!”

  1. Kristin Francis November 21, 2013 at 16:47 #

    Great photos! What is that Brazilian cheese like? I’ve never even heard of brazilian cheese!

    • The Travelling Chopsticks November 21, 2013 at 16:59 #

      Have you ever tried Mexican queso fresco? The fresh cheese, is slightly salty and sour, but in a pleasent away and is very crumbly. But you can also buy processed cheese, which has a more rubbery texture to it…you can tell which one I like :)

  2. Christina November 22, 2013 at 07:57 #

    What a wonderful market! I used to love going to the market in Italy on Saturday mornings-it was one of the things I looked forward to most, especially for the salumi, cheese and olives, oh and pizza!

    So I take it we all know where you’ll be on Saturday mornings, then? :)

    • The Travelling Chopsticks November 22, 2013 at 12:20 #

      Ha ha ha – yes, going to the CEASA on Saturday mornings has definitely become our routine! There is something so romantic sounding about going to a famers market in Italy…..I hope that I will get that chance in my life time :)

  3. Janet Potschke November 23, 2013 at 09:16 #

    I agree wholeheartedly. A fresh produce market, anywhere in the world, is a pleasure to visit, always so colourful, and you get to learn about local foods, spices, veggies, etc. They are also good value for money.

  4. arju99 December 27, 2013 at 14:56 #

    Very nice market. It seems that some of the pictures of all the available fresh. The flowers are very pretty. If you go to Brazil, I shall must go in this market.

    • The Travelling Chopsticks January 7, 2014 at 01:43 #

      Yes, if you go to Brazil I highly suggest to visit a market, it truly is the best way to get a genuine insight into a country! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are enjoying the blog! :)

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