Brazilian food vendors compete to be the favorite at Nashua festival
Around 10 stands of Brazilian food were open for business this weekend at Greely Park. There was cane juice, salty treats, and desserts, each stand trying to be different, and attracting people with cuisines from various regions.
Shirly Fonseca, owner of Sabor Brazil in Nashua, was one of the vendors. She quickly prepared her famous bowls of rice, collard greens, sausage, and seven other ingredients that mix perfectly with a vinaigrette.
“We have seen not only Brazilians looking for our food each year but also Americans and Hispanics,” said Fonseca.
Fonseca opened her business 16 years ago. It quickly grew into a well-known restaurant in Nashua. She sells rodizio, a type of all-you-can-eat grilled meat, and food by the pound.
She said she feels sad to be away from Brazil, which is why she thinks food can be a comfort for the soul.
While attendees sought out some shade, drinking lemonade under the trees, Francisco Goulard was busy in his Gula-Haven stand. He stretched the dough, filled it with cheese, cut it, and deep fried it.
He is the fourth generation of his family to have opened a restaurant. He has had his business for six years and specializes in diverse dough treats with cheese and meat. He sold each for $5 and expected to sell at least a 1,000 during the festival.
“We are pioneers,” he said.
Goulart said he was happy to see people enjoy his food. He said he doesn’t miss Brazil because he always has it in his heart.
Neuza O'Sullivan prepared acaraje, a fried dough with shrimp, on another stand. It’s mouthwatering.
“My husband, who is American, wants me to do acaraje every day,” she said.
O'Sullivan doesn’t have her own restaurant yet; the only time of the year she cooks acaraje is during the BrazilFest, but she is constantly sharing her food with friends and family.
She works cleaning houses, but she has serious plans to open a business after seeing what a success her acarajes are.
Many people are happy she brings them every year.