The “xepa” is a phenomena that occurs when the vendors at the feira (the fresh market) realize that they will NOT sell all their produce that day, usually sometime after 1pm, and heavily discount the goods so that they don’t have to drag it out of the market.
Xepa was originally the act of scavenging abandoned produce on the street of the feira, post-market, as the vendors left their remaining produce behind, realizing that it would cost them more to load it up and figure out what to do with it later than just abandon it.
Eventually, probably when they began to notice that potential clients were lingering behind at shop-close time, they decided to make it a “thing.” Starting at the post-lunch hour, vendors begin to discount items publicly, and then privately depending on how interested you are. You can get some pretty good deals if you wait until the “xepa” time. Sure, maybe the best of the best were snagged by those early risers, but come on, it’s better than day-old bread! Right?
Xepa is all about the negotiations. And considering you have approximately 5 other vendors trying to sell the same type of lettuce, it’s what you would call a “buyers market.”
Today, as part of my Brazilian challenge, I got some great deals on eggplant and iceberg at about 1:30pm. I think I won’t be foolish enough to hit the feira during peak hours ever again!