In Jorge Amado's The War of the Saints, as in his other books, food is a constant presence. Food in all its types - cooked and raw, vegetable, meat and fruit. True to the heart and stomach of Brazil, food is also the underpinning of the great Carnival. As it says in the book, the gift of celebrating festivities even under calamitous conditions belongs exclusively to our people as a favor from Our Lord of Bonfim and Oxalá.
Arranged on aromatic trays were acarajés, abarás, fried fish, crabs, moqueca of aratu crabs wrapped in banana leaves, and corn cakes. At the jammed, noisy lunch stands, meals of coconut and dende oil were served: minced herb caruru, vatapá, efó, diverse fried dishes, and different moquecas - so many of them! - spiced chicken stew with shrimp and pumpkin, hauça rice. Ice-cold beer, batidas, and jackhammer soup, an incomparable aphrodisiac. Sumptuous baskets of fruit: manga-espada, carlota, custard apple, and itiuba, manga-rosa, sapotes, sapodillas, hog plums, Malay apples, cashew fruit, Surinam cherries, jambos, Chinese gooseberries, eleven types of banana, and slices of pineapple and watermelon. Everything was sky-high in price, but even so, the stands couldn't hold the vast and voracious clientele - it was a gut-stuffing spree.