THERE is an old saying, dating back to those inglorious slave-dealing days on the South American plantations that still make the rounds today in Salvador, Bahia State, and the first colonial capital of Brazil. Slaves, mostly Yorubas from West Africa, reportedly confronted their slave-masters with this bold prediction, “Your people may have conquered us, but our culture will eventually conquer you.”

Salvador, Bahia, is an important cornerstone of the celebrated and vibrant Brazilian national tourism, but that industry in this nation’s fourth largest city by population swims along in a deep current of old Yoruba influence. This is one place beyond old Yorubaland where you wake up to the sweet and exotic aroma of palm oil wafting from all corners.