Tacacá is a vibrantly sour, spicy and pungent stew. This Northern Brazilian favorite food is easily one of the most exciting and unique foods in all of the Amazon region.

Tacacá da Diva is a great place to eat this food, a stainless steel street cart serving Tacacá in the amazing city of Belém, Brazil.

In this article I want to share with you all the details of a meal of Tacacá, a truly stunning example of Brazilian local food.

This cart is a place you need to be, Tacacá is the food to eat in Belém, somewhere around late afternoon or early evening
They’re here everyday at around 3pm, ready for the evening rush of Tacacá lovers

What is Tacacá?

A favorite local food in the Northern states of Brazil, Tacacá has some of the most wild and wonderful flavors your tastebuds could ever dream to find.

This beautiful yellow soup contains large amounts of cassava fermentation by-products, and a few ingredients that your nose will enjoy almost as much as your tastebuds.

The powerful aromas of Tacacá are exciting your senses even before you’re sitting down to eat, and just wait until you learn about jambu, a numbing flower they use in every bowl of Tacacá.

In Northern Brazil, so many dishes are made with fermenting by-products of cassava - including Tucupi
One of the most gloriously sour flavors your tongue could ever experience – Tucupi

How To Make This Food

They serve Tacacá like a soup, but the liquid ingredient has to sit, and stew, needing anywhere from 12-16 hours before its ready to eat.

This yellow liquid is ‘Tucupi,’ and it is surely one of the single most gloriously sour flavors I think my tongue has ever tasted. Tucupi is a by-product of fermenting manioc (cassava), and is also one of the staple sauces waiting on almost every table in Northern Brazil.

There is just such a unique flavor to tacacá, but there are also many other ingredients you can choose to add into this soup as well.

Mind-Numbing Flavor (Jambu Leaves and Flowers)

The next ingredient you just need to know about is jambu, a type of paracress, a vegetable native to the Amazon.

Very similar to Szechuan Pepper in the effect it has on your tongue, its almost like a tiny electric shock the first time you experience this beautiful food sensation.

After adding ample amounts of both jambu and tucupi, Tacacá only needs some tiny dry shrimps, some small fiery yellow peppers (pimenta), and finally a large scoop of manioc gum (goma) for it to be complete.

This is yet another product of fermenting manioc (cassava)
A pot full of manioc gum – adding it makes Tacacá soup so wonderfully thick

Manioc Gum (‘Goma’)

Because manioc needs to ferment for such a long time before the tucupi is ready*, the chef making Tacacá will usually just buy the yellow juice from a nearby market vendor.

Another by-product though, is the goma, the manioc gum, and this incredibly thick and starchy consistency is just an amazing edible creation on its own.

The chef will glob a huge dallop of gum into your bowl, and as it sinks to the bottom, it immediately starts to thicken the Tacacá broth even more.

Note:* Families who make Tucupi therefore, are very important in local restaurant and street cart food production. Similar to the way that people here work with açaí palm berries, Tucupi is another food that almost entirely comes from ‘cottage industry’ production. (Learn more about this right now)

very strong salty flavors are preferred by Northern Brazil's cuisine
Salt and Garlic are two of the flavors most dear to Northern Brazilian Food

Additional Flavor Boosters

Your soup is ready to eat, but after you try it first, feel free to add even more ingredients, and have Tacacá the way that many locals in Belém eat it.

Ask for some garlic and herbs, and make sure you don’t forget an extra scoop of pimenta chili oil.

So citrusy and wonderful aromatic, these chilis are gorgeous in every way!
The heat in these is no joke, but at the same time, they are so deliciously flavorful!

Warning – Pimenta Heat!

It is an absolute must in my mind, that every time you see a container of chilis or pepper oil on the table in Brazil – you take it.

The food here is surprisingly unspicy compared to how massively hot almost all of the fresh peppers are, anywhere you go in Brazil.

Most of the time, people prefer to infuse oils with the chili pepper heat, leaving the chili flesh to soak in closed glass containers.

However, sometimes you will find the chilis on their own as well, and this is when you need to prepare yourself for some seriously citrusy and fiery pepper flavors – and dive right in with no reservations.

In Brazil, when you Travel for Food, there literally may be dozens of new things waiting here to be found, waiting to be your "newest favorite food!"
This just may be your new favorite food – Tacacá, have it in Brazil

How to Eat Tacacá

There are a few traditions to this food, and one of them regards timing, and another the utensils.

People like to eat this in the afternoon, and there is an afternoon rush in Belém at around 4pm, every day, rain or shine.

People need their Tacacá, and we were only too happy to be part of this pre-dinner sour soup snack during one of our favorite days in Belém (you can watch the video clip here).

The Gourd Bowl (“Caiu“)

Next, the second part of the Tacacá tradition, is that you will see how people love to eat this soup out of a gourd (not just a regular plastic or ceramic bowl).

This gourd is a “caiu,” (‘kai-yoo’) and yes, it comes straight from the jungle just like almost all the food ingredients they use in Northern Brazil. Its amazing.

Jambu leaves and the jambu flower are something I definitely haven't heard of before coming to Brazil- but here, they are common and daily food items
So thick with Jambu leaves, they give a zinging electric sensation on the tongue

Tradition Just Tastes Better

It just feels right as well, to eat using these gourds, and also the small stick that each serving comes with as well.

Instead of a fork or spoon, you are given what looks like an ice cream sampling spoon. Its just a small wooden spoon with a tiny forking divider at the tip.

This is for lifting up the jambu leaves to your mouth, and its also just kind of fun to use something different, whenever you get the chance to eat such a wild and crazy new food.

More than just Tacacá, this restaurant also serves Manicoba and an amazing version of Vatapá, complete with crab lollipop claws
Round 2 simply must be a plate of Vatapá just like this one!

Vatapá

Last but not least, I am assuming that when you finish your Tacacá you are either going to immediately order a second bowl, or look for something else to try.

Seriously, the food at Tacacá da Diva is so good, there’s no way you can leave with just one bowl.

When this happens, be sure to try either the Manicoba, or the Vatapa (or of course, a second bowl of Tacacá is a great choice as well).

Both Vatapaá and Maniçoba are local favorite foods in Belém, in the entire Amazon region, and both are foods that I would absolutely love to have again, right as I am typing this article.

How to Eat Vatapá

This is a gloriously gooey mess of manioc starch, tucupi, and fried chunks of bread. The consistency is very similar to that of peanut butter, as is the heaviness and fullness of flavor.

It is only slightly oily, and just before you start to eat, the chef will give you a final ladling of more of the tucupi sour yellow liquid, helping to loosen up the mass of vatapá covering your rice.

Not only is vatapá common to have with rice, but in Bahia, in Eastern Brazil, the All-Time Super Snack known as Acarajé also uses a hearty amount of vatapá in its recipe (read about that here, or watch a video to learn more here).

Traditionally serving this in a gourd bowl, this is the way that locals eat Tacacá
Caiu, the traditional gourd bowl that locals in Pará love to use for Tacacá

Name: Tacacá da Diva
Location: Google Maps (link here)
Hours:  3:30pm – 10:30pm (Open Daily)
Price: R$13 for each bowl of Tacacá (US$4.25)

34 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Vishal Kaushik

    3 weeks ago

    ❤❤✌👌

  • George

    3 weeks ago

    Aww! Este artigo fez água na boca! gostoso, mal posso esperar para experimentar.

    • Joel Bruner

      3 weeks ago

      Hello again George, thanks for reading, thanks for the comments! have a great day today!

  • Cleaning Idea

    4 weeks ago

    As a website owner, I believe the material here is really excellent. I thank you for your time. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

    • Joel Bruner

      3 weeks ago

      Hi Sayful, wow, thanks for the great comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read, have a wonderful day today! Cheers.

  • Rajesh laxkar

    4 weeks ago

    Awsome tips…Thanks for writing it.

    • Joel Bruner

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Rajesh! Thanks for reading, have a great day!

  • Kamal

    4 weeks ago

    Great content, Thanks for this. You are trying to do the best for people, I really love cooking and I will share the content with my friends, they will be interested in, Once again, Thank you!!

    • Joel Bruner

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Kamal, happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for passing it on, I hope you have a wonderful day today!

  • Martins Murphy

    1 month ago

    Thank you for this great information These are places I would never have thought about visiting at all in ny life. But with this information I have gotten from this article, I am eager to come over😊😊Thanks for covering such places, it realeny interesting
    Martins Murphy

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Martins, thanks for the comments, and for sharing how this info has motivated you! I really think places like (Belem) are just as fun as any ‘famous’ destination out there. Good luck in going yourself, thanks for the comments

  • muscle fibre

    1 month ago

    Hi,
    Lovely information about tacaca soup. Good for every food blogger.

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Thanks a lot musclefiber, have a good one!

  • Daniel

    1 month ago

    Hey
    Tacaca soup look so tasty. I will try it.
    Thanks…

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hey Daniel, I hope you get the chance soon! Leave another comment when you do, I still miss this soup now…

  • Namit Pandey

    1 month ago

    That looks really great. I have always loved to try new dishes and cuisines and would definitely love to try Vatapa and Tacaca. They look very appetizing!

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hi Namit! thanks a lot for the good words, and thanks for reading. Both of these are so awesome, Tacacá is just addictive its so good… I hope you do get the chance to visit Para someday soon!

  • Natalie Say

    1 month ago

    I had this when I visited Pará 3 years ago. I’m not sure if this tastes the same but it sure looks similar! I’m craving for Tacaca right now! 🙁

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Natalie! Thats amazing, well yes Im sure its the same thing, they eat a ton of Tacacá in Pará 🙂 Thanks for commenting, have a great day!

  • bloggingme

    1 month ago

    These are really places I would never have thought about visiting at all. Thanks for covering such places, it realeny makes for interesting

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hi, thanks for the comment! You know, these kind of places are what really stick in the memory though, I think I look back on small shops like this (from our trips) as much as any ‘famous food’ or ‘fancy food,’ as this is where the real heart of the people tends to be.

  • ahmed

    1 month ago

    it looks great thanks for sharing

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hi Ahmed, thanks for the comments!

  • Sea

    1 month ago

    Great. It’s look tasty. Thank for your review

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hi Sea, hope youre having a great day, thanks for the comment!

  • Kenneth

    1 month ago

    The Vatapa really looks very yummy! These are really places I would never have thought about visiting at all. Thanks for covering such places, it realeny makes for interesting content as these regions are probably likely to be unseen if you weren’t covering them.

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Kenneth! Greetings! This Vatapa is one of the creamiest creations ever, such a wonderful example of Brazil’s diverse food… Youre most welcome, it definitely took some traveling to get to (these places) but wow, it was worth it! Thanks so much for your kind words, it means a lot! Have a good one today

  • Carla Webb

    1 month ago

    Tradition tastes better for sure! I am looking forward to try it some day.

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hi Carla! Hope you do get the chance, Brazil, the Amazon region, it is a mind-blowingly cool place! Thanks for reading

  • John Peter

    1 month ago

    Looks yummy. is it a non-veg dish.

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hi John! The base ingredients don’t use meat, but there will almost always be shrimp used as a topping (another version we had used both crab and shrimp!). Thanks for the question, thanks for your comment!

  • Sarah

    1 month ago

    Very intruiging flavors. What I especially appreciate, is the tradition that comes with it, such as the gourd and the stick. It all adds to the experience. I’d love to try these dishes myself one day.

  • Anita

    1 month ago

    I have never visited this region and never tried those dishes but the soup looks really weird. I would try it though 😀

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hi Anita! Happy to think that youre inspired to try new things from this article, yes I can tell you the Tacaca soup is like a food experience, not just a soup to eat… amazing 🙂 Have a great day, thanks for commenting!