Dendê is the Portuguese word for "Palm Oil". There are a number of dishes in Brazil and Portugal which are cooked using Palm Oil, such as Acaraje , Vatapa, Farofa , among others. Dendê palm oil is obtained from the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) which orginated in Central Africa. The small, clustreed fruit of this palm goes through a variety of colors, like yellow, rust and red before finally turning black when ripe. Palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit and is used extensively in the Bahian cooking of Brazil. It has a nutty flavor and deep orange-yeloow color and lend a special touch to foods. For some cooks, there is no real substitute for Palm oil. Dendê may be purchased at apecialty stores or international markets. If not available, olive oil can be a substitute although the taste of the food will not taste the same (but still be delicious) as when Palm oil is used.
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