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Jan 12, 2007 06:31 PM

Where to buy dende oil for cheap?

Where can I get dende oil (red palm oil) for a reasonable price? Whole Foods has it in a fancy little jar that isn't nearly enough to do any serious frying.

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  1. The answer to this question is probably some Brazilian market. What are the best ones near Central Square?

    1. Brazilian markets tend to sell small bottles of Faisca brand dende. They are not fancy and since dende is being marketed as a health supplement, they might be cheaper than whole foods. However, I don't believe you are going to get enough to fry acaraje economically (they are sized more for putting on moqueca). Make sure you check the dates and I would start in Union Sq at International Market (across the street from La Internacional), try Market Basket, and Gol Supermarket all on Somerville ave.

      To fry, I think your options are

      1) Substitute: make sure you put dende in the shrimp filling, but fry it in something else. Some brazilian recipes call to fry acaraje in azeite doce (olive oil) or you could mix a bit of dende with a lighter oil... or use coconut perhaps.

      2) Ask someone to bring it back from Brazil -- if you want to be a real stickler, make sure its dende from bahia. If it explodes in their luggage you will have lost a friend for sure :-)

      3) Look for crude plantation palm oil, which is a commodity, but its not marketed for cooking use. I have heard of people getting this from importers and using instead of dende.

      I definately have seen baianas at festivals using corn or other oils to fry acaraje, although I have also seen dende.

      2 Replies
      1. re: itaunas

        FWIW, a bit more information. Faisca in Brazil does offer an 880ml bottle of dende, so you could ask the importer if they stock it. I would still check those markets to get the name of the importer, but at one point it was this company The faisca page for dende is here:, but they only list the brazilian distributors.

        1. I bet Silva's in Roslindale has it.

          1. I would look for the nearest African market where you can buy a large amount for cheap!

            1 Reply
            1. re: bearczar

              Tropical Foods on Washington Street in Dudley Square. They have a good selection of African goods, including big (like one liter+) plastic bottles of red palm oil.