Abundant fresh fish and seafood aside, Marajó  is renowned for two very distinctive culinary specialties. The first, of course, is water buffalo, which comes in many guises. More tender and flavorful than beef, buffalo meat is also lower in cholesterol. As a main course, two of the most popular buffalo recipes are filé marajoara, in which a prime cut of succulent meat is topped with creamy melted buffalo cheese (which resembles a fine mozzarella), and frito de vaqueiro (“cowboy fried”), in which less noble parts are cut into cubes, sautéed, and eaten with pirão de leite (a puree of milk and manioc flour).
You’ll also fined more refined inventions such as buffalo steak in cupuaçu sauce. Meanwhile, buffalo milk shows up in everything from butter and cheese to desserts such as the classic doce de leite, a rich caramel pudding.
The second Marajoano delicacy is more rarefied, and also more likely to repulse squeamish gringos. It consists of a type of mollusk, known as turu, that can be found living inside dead trees located around the island’s mangrove swamp. Milky white in color and gelatinous in consistency, turu is treated like an oyster. Locals are prone to eat them raw with a spray of lime. In bars and restaurants, however, you’ll come across caldo de turu, in which the mollusk is added to a broth of coconut milk, lime juice, garlic, and cilantro.
One of the best places to sample local fare in Soure is at Paraíso Verde (Travessa 17 2135, Umarizal, tel. 91/3741-1581, 10 a.m.–10 p.m., R$10–20), an aptly named restaurant set amidst ferns and native fruit trees, where the filé marajoara is pretty divine.
On the road leading from Soure to Praia de Pesqueiro, Delícias da Nalva (4a Rua 1051, tel. 91/9188-3764, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, R$10–20) also has a lovely garden setting. Recommended for local dishes, it is a particularly good place to try caldo de turu.
In Salvaterra, Bosque dos Aruãs (2a Rua, tel. 91/3765-1115, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 6–10 p.m.), located within the pousada of the same name, serves nicely prepared fish, meat, and chicken dishes along with regional dishes.