Friday Farmers’ Market: Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz

I have been intending for the past few weeks to explore the farmers’ markets in Rio. I have grand intentions of actually planning weekly menus instead of looking in the fridge and throwing things together.

Every area has its own farmers’ markets. It turns out that in Zona Sul there are also a number of organic markets. Each market has its location and day of the week.

I have yet to discover all of the locations, but I did remember that there was a large market in Ipanema that S and I visited when we were apartment hunting. We had great tapioca (a kind of dense pancake made from manioc starch and water that can be filled with coconut and/or sweetened condensed milk, or cheese, among other things). I didn’t think L would be all that excited about tapioca but I thought she would enjoy strolling by the fruit and vegetable stalls and if all else fails, the square had a park in the middle.

We loaded up in the stroller and headed to the metro. Initially I thought that catching the metro one stop to Ipanema would be the way to go. The metro is clean and efficient. The only problem with our stop is that to get to the platform you have to use a specially designated lift designed for wheelchairs that you have to hold the button to go up and down. I feel bad using it. When we got to Ipanema we had to take three different elevators and the last elevator to street level was out of service so we took the escalator. We walked four long blocks and made it to Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz.

We arrived around 11 a.m. and market was bustling. We made it across the crosswalk and were greeted by a vendor who gave us large slices of watermelon. L wanted to start in the park so we made our way through the crowds that line the sidewalks and into the rather deserted square. L played on the playground for a bit and then we ventured back out to buy some fruit and vegetables.

With an over sized stroller on crowded, narrow sidewalks, finding the coordination to actually pictures was a challenge (and my camera was out of battery). So mostly we just focused on what there was and what we were going to buy. You can either buy by weight or a number of vendors sell prepacked bags for R$1 per bag or 6 bags for R$5. I haven’t yet had the time to figure out what the better deal is, so I played it safe and bought some stuff by the bag and others by weight.

I wasn’t put together enough this week to do any kind of menu planning so I let L dictate the fruits (oranges and more watermelon) and I picked up some random veggies that I could throw into Smitten Kitchen’s chopped salad and we called it a day.

We made a quick stop to get one of the best cappuccinos in the city and I decided that instead of walking four long blocks to the metro I would walk four short blocks to the Lagoa and walk home from there.   Twenty minutes from the praça to home.  Climbing the hill back up to our apartment was actually much easier than battling the lifts in the metro.

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