Vatapá is a tasty seafood stew and is one of the classic dishes of Brazilian cuisine. The dish is made of bread, shrimp, coconut milk, finely ground peanuts and palm oil that is mashed into a paste. Traditionally served with rice or as a filling in acarajé fritters, it is often enjoyed as popular Brazilian street food or as an offering in the religion of Candomblé.
Vatapá is of African origin, and arrived in Brazil through the Yoruba people with the name of ehba-tápa.
It is a typical dish of the northeastern cuisine and very traditional in the state of Bahia, where palm oil is an ingredient and the dish is frequently served with caruru. It is also popular in Amazonas, in Amapá and Pará, where the recipe suffers variations such as the absence of peanuts and other common ingredients in the traditional version. Vatapá shows the influence of African cuisine brought by the Africans enslaved in slave ships starting in the 16th century. With the ingredients found in this new land and the need to supplement their food diet, they developed other dishes, which became typical of Brazilian cuisine.