Food in African Brazilian Candomblé


  • Patricia Souza Pontific Catholic University


Food, Eating and meals, Diet, Cooking, Food habits, Nutrition, Salvador (Brazil), Candomblé (Religion), Ritual, Christianity and African religions, Everyday life


The aim of this article is to highlight the importance of food in the rituals of African Brazilian Candomblé, as well as in its cosmovision (world view). A brief description of Candomblé’s historical trajectory is provided in order to show how food offerings became part of its rituals and how specific ingredients became symbolically significant in this belief system. According to the theories applied, it is possible that food has at least two functions in Candomblé: to materialize principles and also to work as a ritual language. To show the role of food in Candomblé the state of Bahia was taken as a case study – firstly because Candomblé started there and secondly because, as this article shows, the sacred foods of Candomblé are also consumed in everyday life, outside of religious situations, but just as importantly constituting a part of Bahian cultural identity. The dishes that feature in the ritualised meals and at the same time in Bahians’ everyday eating are described at the conclusion of the article, with a mention of their ingredients and to whom they are offered. The research sources included publications by Candomblé believers and scholars of religion, as well as cooks and journalists specialising in Bahian cuisine.



How to Cite

Souza, P. (2015). Food in African Brazilian Candomblé. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 26, 264–80.