In most parts of the country, the people wake up to an alarm clock. But Goa is a little different. Here, Goans have awakened listening to the poder’s (bakers) call. The Goan Baker or rightly known to the Goans as ‘Poder’ is someone who is awaited every day for his delicious and steaming hot bread. They come daily in the mornings, afternoons and the evenings with bread on their bicycles, honking their horns. Children run to get their ‘pao’; having it fresh and hot is the best way to savour it. Eaten along with chicken cafreal, patal bhaji, nusteachi koddi (fish curry), or even devoured after being buttered and dipped in plain tea, bread in Goa persists as a hallmark of the state’s cuisine. Celebrating this staple food item and the people behind the craft of bread-making, Goa will celebrate the Poderachem fest’ (bakers feast) at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Socorro Village, Goa, from Oct 1 to 3, 2016.
This festival will be attended by bakers from across the state to showcase the variety of breads along with a lot of cultural programs and entertainment. The event will also consist of a parade and exhibition among other attractions during the event. Various local delicacies like choris pao (sausage bread), omlette pao, and cutlet pao will be served and sold at the festival.
Favored by its tradition and innovation, Goa one of the states that has a huge repertoire of various kinds of breads, complete with unusual nomenclature. In Goa when you ask the poder to give you bread, he will ask, which one? Because Poders have a variety of bread to offer; the soft regular is pao or pav, the flat and round crisp bread with a slight layer of wheat husk is Poie, crunchy bangles called Kankna and kauri ancho pão.
The importance of bread has broadened beyond the borders of Goa so much so that pao has become an Indian word and has been incorporated in food items such as missal pav ,pav bhaji, vada pav, make pav, cutlet pav etc.
The significance of the event will be an exhibition of the various types of bread produced in Goa; traditional as well as new forms developed in the state.
This business is vital for Goans in the state as it is an important part of their daily life. But sadly in the recent years, the occupation is on a decline. Dropping demand for the traditional pao, rising prices, few government incentives is making it hard for the poders to get by.
The event is held to pay a tribute to the Goan bakers and convey their noteworthy contribution to the attention of the people. So come and discover this unique festival of Goa this October!