Wednesday, March 24, 2004

In the kitchen of Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop, Non DeMello cooks up dozens of malassadas. He's known for the malassadas with the puka in the center, allowing the heavy batter to cook quickly and evenly.

Celebrate Festa

Just about every Portuguese family in Hawaii has their own recipe for Shrove Tuesday (a k a Malassada Day) when, traditionally, good Catholics consumed cupboard surpluses in preparation for Lent, the 40 days prior to Easter, when abstinence is de rigueur.


A celebration of Portuguese heritage in Hawaii

Where: Ala Moana Park McCoy Pavilion
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
Admission: $3 per person; free for ages 12 and under
Call: 845-1616 or visit
Also: Alma Ribatejana encore performance after 6:30 has separate admission, at $5 per person and $1 per child 12 or younger.

The rest of us can surely take one day off to be naughty Saturday, when we can enjoy the sugary treats at "Festa," a celebration of Portuguese heritage in Hawaii, presented by the Hawaii Council on Portuguese Heritage.

Pronounced "FESH-tah" and meaning "festival," Festa will feature Hawaii's favorite Portuguese foods, entertainment, products and crafts for sale, cultural displays, multi-ethnic genealogical research, and the music and dance of Portugal.

In addition to malassadas cooked up by Non DeMello of Agnes' Portuguese Bake Shop in Kailua, attendees will be able to try, for nominal fees, Portuguese bean soup, Portuguese sausage (linguica) hot dogs on sweet bread (pao doce) buns, a marinated pork (vinha a d'alhos) plate, and Portuguese tostitos (tostinhos).

Comedian Frank De Lima, singer Glen Medeiros, musician Jessie Rivera and the visiting dance troupe, Alma Ribatejana, will perform. The troupe, from San Jose, Calif., consists of many first-generation Portuguese Americans who will perform authentic regional music and dance.

Those interested in their family roots will be able to do research, organized by the Portuguese Genealogy Society of Hawaii, and including several other genealogy organization data bases.

In addition, Festa will feature a historic paniola (Hawaiian cowboy) display highlighting those of Portuguese heritage, plus other displays and demonstration subjects such as the immigration story of Luso-Americans; Portuguese exploration around the world; the history of the ferno (Portuguese stone oven) and instruments like the braginha, the grandfather of the ukulele.

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