Salvador de Bahia’s gastronomy is an assimilation of West African, Portuguese and Amerindian flavors. The Portuguese settlers introduced meats, olive oil, and sugary desserts into the Amerindian staple diet of maize and cassava (a woody shrub). However, it was the West African slaves who truly transformed the region’s cuisine with spices such as coriander, cloves, and peppers, as well as palm oil, referred to as azeite de dendê. Most Bahian dishes contain rice and feijoada (black beans) flavored by chili peppers, coconut milk, quiabo (a green pod vegetable) and ginger. As a coastal city, seafood such as shrimp, cod, and sardines are also found in favorite meals such as the fish stew specialty moqueca. The bedrock of Bahian cuisine is palm oil and pepper, giving typical dishes a yellow-reddish color and hot, peppery taste. Cassava flour called gari is also used in many side dishes served with stew and soups. From wholesome meals such as moqueca and acarajé prepared in gourmet restaurants to sweet treats like cocada sold by street vendors, there’s no shortage of Afro-Brazilian cuisine to try when it comes to deciding what to eat in Salvador de Bahia. Here’s a brief guide to the city’s specialties, as well as some dining dos and don'ts.