The best place to start off your culinary tour in São Paulo is the Mercado Municipal, a 12,600 square meter marketplace located in São Paulo’s historic Centro. At the Mercadão, as it is called by locals, you can find the freshest and greatest variety of produce and spices. Passing through the Mercadão’s fruit aisle is a delight, as vendors approach you to taste test their freshest fruit. The stands draw you in with their rainbow of fruit colors. Try the locally grown caquis (persimmons), mango and graviola. As you drift from the sweet aroma of the fruit aisles, the pungent scents of fish and calabresa begin to seep in. São Paulo’s Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish heritage is evident as you walk past dozens of olive oils, bacalhau (dried cod fish), savory sausages, and cheese. Head upstairs to have a real meal: the classics are the mortadella sandwich, a sandwich packed with layers upon layers of the delicious deli meat and pastel de bacalhau, a fried pastry stuffed with imported dried cod, green olives, and onions. The Mercadão has been open since the 1930s; on the weekends and around holidays it is packed with Brazilians from all over the country who come to purchase the best local and imported goods available. Despite the hundreds of people who visit the market, the Centro is a sometimes neglected area of the city by tourists because of its reputation. During the day the Centro is full of people.