Wednesdays? Fair!

I forgot t omention an event that occurs every Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

It is the Central Fair of Campo Grande. She has this name because there are billions of fairs in neighborhoods, some by the evening, others in the morning, but the fair in the city center is the Feirona (Big Fair).

Since 04/05/1925 started in place of the current Municipal Market Hall (Mercado Municipal – Mercadão) went to the street Pandiá Calógeras (Today only Calógeras), then Antonio Maria Coelho street and finally to the local where I met her: At Rua José Antonio and Julio Abrão Rahe (the latter from 1966 til 2004). It was like a traditional fair: Street closed, the vendors (shops inherited or acquired) set up their tents, selling fruit, sweets, soba, kebabs, pastries …

Due to some changes on the block surrounding the central fair  (which was previously a vacant lot and turned the largest Universal Church I’ve ever seen – the temple of money?), and the need for better infrastructure, the fair moved to the Esplanade of the Central Railway Station (the city got no longer trains) in 2004, where it remains today.

For more information visit the website.  But is not THAAAAT website.

But to the point.

The fair ends up being a very good option to eat. We can break down to eateries and places to shop, excluding the stalls of vegetables that are now struggling with a few stalls of spices, sweets, nuts and foods ingredients. These face toward the center aisle and food stalls are behind them.

The places to buy are basically “chinese cheaps” stalls super structured, but you will also find crafts, clothing… a bit of everything. Personally I do not buy much there, the structure literally has its price. Products you buy cheap in Camelódromo, in the feirona are more expensive. But is an option for an emergency and you do not want to pay with a kidney in the Multicasa from the city mall.

Come down to what I like: The food.

The food is divided in the traditional (Soba, meat kebabs and Pastries) and new ones (Tapioca, pizza, Arabic food, sweets and a kind of Kebab, Shawarma).

There is about 24 Soba / Meat Kebab tents each with its own way. The soba is a big soup, which receives a huge amount of pasta, chunks of meat, parsley and chopped omelet. You need not take all the broth, but it will struggle to eat all the pasta. The other ingredients are over the pasta and are not as generous. In the end you’ll be fishing pasta, meat and parsley from the soup. You can choose the type of meat, beef or pork.

The personal touch of each tent makes the difference. Some put smaller noodles, different varieties, some put ginger directly in the soup…

Each stall also sells meat kebabs (not really kebabs, more like brasilian barbecue: big pieces of meat on a “sword” ehhe). The kebabs and sobá grew up together in our state. Rump, sirloin … various types that I do not know all. And kebabs are not easy to differentiate, so I can not give right descriptions about the best ones.

You will find various other foods: yakisoba, yakimeshi, Kung Pao chicken, steak on the plate, fish, dobradinha … You will need to look around, but I can indicate what I tasted and I am a person of habits, so I eat in the same places.

I always go in the Anesia’s tent that is called “Tent Amelia”. Anesia is taking care of there. Lovely person. Do not confuse with the real Anesia Tent (which I think is ANOTHER Anesia). The tent I always go to it is Amelia’s, next to the besides Helena’s Tent.

The soba there comes with ginger (horrible thing) SEPARATELY (thank God). The price is a bit higher that others at the fair, but worth it. The pasta and meat are all in line, long noodles, flat, good to eat. Because of forces stronger than me, sometimes I had to eat in other tents and they use other pastas that I did not approve. Ranges from R$ 12 higher to R$ 9 less  (7 to 5 dollars). Thinking by price, it’s not worth buying the smaller …

The kebabs I can’t remember, tasted a looong time ago… In the past I ate only yakisoba, very good too, but can not remember the price. But it was better than most other places in town.

I ate Kung Pao chicken in two different tents and found them horrible, so do not recommend it at the fair. Eat In China In Box that had it pretty awesome (but expensive).

I never eated Pasteis there and have virtually none to indicate. But close to my job there’s one that is simply stunning. Someday I talk about it.

Things I tried and it’s worth:

Shawarma da Tia. It’s basically a mini donner (I ate some real big donners in Dresden, but did not know that Donner had lamb…) In Brasil you choose between two types of meat: chicken, beef or mixed.

It’s a snack kinda cool, is not very big but it is a “heavy” one. Got meat, vegetables, potatoes and everything inside. I tried to eat two in a row and got sick, so do not recommend this. But I recommend the Shawarma. Eat one.

Tapioca: I do not know how much cost the tapioca today, but they were very good, although a bit overpriced. Both the sweet and salty tapioca are great.

Churros: Not the normal place that I would buy churros, but is much more hygienic than all others. Churros is Churros and I love them! Ask Chaves (Chespirito).

Sweets: There are many stalls, including the place with skewers of strawberries drenched in chocolate. I know people who ate there and felt sick. Avoid the uncle of vegetable kebabs with chocolate altogether (theys chocolate is strange too).

But buy a bunch of Bala de Côco,  (a child party’s candy) by the train station entrance in one of the firsts stalls in the left. Until a few years ago, I only knew that ones that adults wrapped with a lot of paper so that the child had more work unwrapping than eating. And to make matters worse some active ingredient was not sugar, was CEMENT. Then you would get a candy in your mouth until soften to start to chew, and fill your pockets with candy. That was until I was 27 years old.

Today, The Future, we have these homemade candies. They are, amazingly SOFT. Relax, breathe. There’s more, THEY HAVE FILLING. Not that you will feel by putting 10 in your mounth and chewing (that’s not how you eat those?) But have coffee filling, brigadier, coconut! A coconut candy  STUFFED with coconut. How can a coconut candy be more coconutty? There’s even a bad one too! Mint! WOW. Eat candy and feel like you was brushing your teeth, but making the tooth decay happy…

Peppers: My, my… buy it! Pepper is good at everything. But search. Mercadao is cheaper but has less style.

Chestnuts: There is a stall with various nuts that sometimes has the expensive Macadamias (10 reais small package). But it also has cashew and many others. Not cheap as in the municipal market, but more accessible.

Finishing: The fair is one of the most traditional places in Campo Grande, if you come here, go there. Not a glamorous thing, but the soba is something that only exists here (included as a  “intangible heritage” from Campo Grande – MS)

Another thing the state is the typical yellow cassava. The other states call Aipim and they have the horrible WHITE cassava. Go to the Feirona and ask for a Espetinho (little barbecue kebab). Comes with vinagrete (always special) and yellow cassava (Mandioca/Cassava – Amarela/Yellow, here only called Mandioca). Super versatile, one day I do a post just about her.

But remember, Campo Grande-MS? Go to the Fair! After, go to Bonito! eheh

Working hours: Wednesdays, Fridays starting at 16:00 h. Saturdays and Sundays all day, and Saturday until Sunday morning. Sundays there are less stalls working.

This is half google translation, half mine. And sucks, I know. If you can correct it, please, contact me.