One of the most intriguing things about the traditional Afro-Brazilian cooking of the state of Bahia is the intimate connection between the religion that captive slaves carried with them when they were transported to the sugar-cane fields of Brazil and the ingredients, flavorings and cooking techniques that are characteristic of Bahian food.
The religion, known as candomblé, uses food in many ritualistic ways, and the foods of candomblé have in effect formed the basis of Bahian cuisine. The religion is the font, the source, of Bahian cuisine. Certainly foood culture and religion are closely related in many world cultures, but the nexus in Bahia is uniquely close and intense.
Recently, one of Brazil's major newspapers, Folha de S. Paulo, featured a number of articles in their food and cooking section about this link between religion and food. It was accompanied by some stunningly beautiful photographs that illuminate both the deep-felt spirituality of candomblé and the glories of Bahian food. Next week, we'll post the photos here at Flavors of Brazil, and explore how candomblé and Bahian food are connected at the heart.
To whet your appetite, here are two of the photos. We've left them at a larger size and higher resolution than we usually post here at Flavors of Brazil, so be sure to click the images to see them at their best. And check back next week to see them all.