If you have ever stayed in a Goan village, you would have seen children running with plastic bags towards a man on his cycle, carrying their favorite warm bread - the Pão! What makes this Goan Pão so special?
Sonia Filinto talks about the different kinds of Goan breads and the fine art of making them. What are the ingredients that make it so unique and delicious? What is the cultural significance of this Pão in the lives of locals? And why will your Goa trip remain incomplete without trying it? Tune in to find out!
Sonia Filinto is an award-winning director, actor and producer. Her film “Bread and Belonging” has been showcased in multiple film festivals in the United States, London, Australia etc. It is a heartwarming documentary about food, culture and migration through the lens of Goa’s unique bread, pão.
Travel tip: On your next trip to Goa, spend an evening with the historical artefacts in Goa’s State Museum in Panaji and understand the history and culture of this beautiful state!
Brought to you by Bound, a company that helps you grow through stories. Follow us @boundindia on all social platforms for updates on this podcast or take a look at their other podcasts.
Hosted by Clyde D’Souza. He is a creative director who has worked in TV, print, and digital. His book Susegad: The Goan Art Of Contentment captures Goa through conversations, memories, stories, recipes and much more. He lives between Mumbai and Goa and lives the Susegad lifestyle every day! Follow him on Instagram @clydedsouzaauthor.
Produced by Aishwarya Javalgekar
Editing and soundtrack by Aditya Arya
Artwork by Artisto Designz
Clyde D'Souza 00:08
Hello and welcome to say God stories from Goa. I'm your host Clyde D'Souza. I'm a three time published author, media professional, and a go on who loves everything about God. My latest book is called to say God, the golden out of contentment. In my podcast I chat with some famous and some of my favorite guns. And together we explore go beyond this leeches from failure to follow Gaza to cashews, come discover gua like you've never done before. If you've stayed in a golden village, you would have heard a particular sound two times a day. It's a soft punk punk and you will see a gun you'll see many gun aunties or uncles or little children run to the compound gates with a little plastic bag, and they're a man on a cycle with a big basket on it will give you your favorite warm bread. The day and go off for many, many guns begins with the powder and the pow. And to tell us all about it, we have my guest, Sonia flinto. Sonia is an award winning filmmaker, actress and producer. Sonia's film bread and belonging has been showcased at various film festivals in America, London, Australia and more. It's a really heartwarming story that deep dives into the tradition of baking bread in GWA. Welcome to the say God stories podcast, Sonia.
Hello, Clyde looking forward to the session today.
Clyde D'Souza 01:43
So can you tell me where in GWA are you from? Or where are you talking to us from?
So I was born and raised in Collingwood, on the coast in the north of Goa. And yes, that's where I am. At the moment.
Clyde D'Souza 01:58
I think many of our audiences are very well aware of Calangute because it's of course, the go to place for most tourists. But I remember you also describing it as a village, which it of course is. So can you tell me something about Colombia? That? I don't know. By the way? I'm from Candolim, which is the neighbor? Yeah, the neighbor? Yes. Yeah. So can you tell me something about Colombia? Which Which, I don't know, which I would not know, which many others would not know. Like, when when you were growing up? What was that place that you went to in Colombia, which now is like, whatever,
the beach. I mean, it used to be completely different. Of course, you know, it was a village in quote, unquote, village, but it always was a bit way ahead of its time, in that sense, you know, it was very popular beach. It still is, but it had a different flavor. Before earlier, the most striking thing was you had the Lampoon cars, you know, the wooden boats, the fishermen with the wooden boats, those old big, huge boats, where they used to go to the sea and come back and you know, to the net. So that's something that if you ask, you know, what was there before, and the difference from before now, of course, there's a huge, huge, long list. But for me, that was, you know, something that really stood out. And in fact, it was the subject of an earlier documentary that I made called shifting sands.
Clyde D'Souza 03:27
Well, yeah, so I think now the ramp on car boats have been given away to jetski boats, at least on many beaches in Goa. Yeah. So today, we're talking about bread. And recently, you know, there was this outrage in Goa. And the outrage was not about electricity, nor was it about water. But it was about the increase in the price of power. And guess what the increase was, it was all the way from rupees for two rupees five, one rupee. So that's how much people of gua love bow, but also our I guess, unwilling to accept price increases. So what do you think about this whole thing? And why do you think guns have this love for bread so much?
Yeah, as you said, a princely sum of one rupee, you know, increase, and it raised the hue and cry, well actually claim if you see in a lot of places around the world, you know, the price of bread is controlled by the state because that is a staple meal, staple diet, but actually, if you if you really spend some time and talk to the baker, the baker will tell you that, you know, the price of everything under the sun has gone up, you know, including the raw materials, including, you know, everything, the labor, everything that they that is involved in making the bread so they are struggling, you know, to make two ends.
Clyde D'Souza 04:44
Yeah, yeah. Now, I was just also thinking that, you know, I mean, I don't know most of our audience who's listening. They might just be familiar with the regular bow or they might be familiar with other kinds of bread, but not many of them might know that there are about four or five types of golden bread Right, and I'll just, you know, rattle off their names quickly. So they get a sense of what we're talking about. And the fact that we're, you know, going to spend a whole, whatever podcast on power. So there's basically the Oando, which is a crusty kind of bread. Right, then there is the Poyi, which is like a pita bread, then there is something called Konkan, which is like a bangle shaped bread, right, which kids love. Then there's a sizzle shaped bread called cartridge. So power, then there is, of course, the regular power, which is power itself. So now what I want to ask you is when you were making this film, what led you to make the film? Was it a love for bread? Was it a love for filmmaking? Or whether was it allowed for telling unique going stories?
I think it was. The last one, it started as that, you know, in the sense that I wanted to tell stories from Guam, I feel that Guam is, you know, shooting location, there's a lot of filming that happens here. But I think golden stories need to be told, you know, and you have been living out of go on and off for many years. And whenever I came home with my parents, and I would have bread, yeah, that that was something that we had on a daily basis. And I noticed that, you know, the makers of the bread have changed from what they were or, you know, when I was growing up, and over the years, so I was very interested in this whole thing of, you know, who's making the bread, you know, bread is very unique to go, it's unique to go, go in cuisine, its culture, its identity, you know, we identify ourselves, you know, we are predators, you know, when was introduced here, and from here, when to the west of India, and you know, beyond, you know, all of that, but, but the whole thing is that the ones who make the bread are not the ones we used to make not the multigenerational bakers. So I was interested in that. And that's how, you know, the story came about and I went out met people met, bakers met all kinds of bakers from all all parts of Goa, and you know, that I realized there was a story to be told. And not just, of course, we all love bread, there's lost a lot of nostalgia around with, but I wanted to go beyond the nostalgia question, the nostalgia and see exactly what what's happening on the ground as such.
Clyde D'Souza 07:21
Yeah, I like how you know, your film, basically, as these three different angles, which is one is the whole, multi generational family of bakers who are who are gone, you know, and then there is a migrant family, a family from Karnataka was just started baking bread. And then of course, the film ends with the raja Festival, which is basically a bread festival. And I like these three different angles. So can you share? Who are these families? And where did you shoot the film?
Yeah, so we shot across, you know, different parts of Goa. One was, like I said, I was very interested in, you know, knowing a lot of multi generational bakers, they're leaving the trade, you know, they are either shutting the bakery, or they're leasing it out, because it's really not lucrative anymore. Because, you know, the struggle is real, actually. So as I was very interested to know, to talk to them, and see, you know, what does it mean, for someone who is doing a traditional occupation? And that says, you know, what does it mean for them, in today's fast paced, going life, you know, and it's aspiration, everyone aspires to, to, you know, to move beyond and, you know, to better your means, and better yourself. So, what does it mean in this, in this media to, you know, to run a bakery, and to continue running a bakery. And, and, at the same time, as going to shutting shop and the traditional multigenerational Baker's shutting shop, the demand for bread has not gone down, the demand is still there. So there is a need so and that vacuum is filled by, you know, people from across the border, you know, across the border, they see it, and they see it, as they see it is a enterprise IT IS job, something that, you know, they can take up and do. So, and if you see along, especially along the northern coast to go, if you go around the bakeries, there are very, very few bakeries, what was continued to be multigenerational the whole, you know, the milieu has changed in that sense. So, so I was curious to know what does it mean for them, you know, for for, for the bakers who have come from outside who are setting up shop and how are they running, you know, what are what is the life of a migrant Baker, you know, he might be baking going bread, something that is very unique to go out, but, you know, how does he fit in the larger scheme of things and so I'm really curious about that. And of course, there is this whole community coming together, you know, to celebrate with so you So I was, I followed them too. And I was trying to see three intersect because, you know, ultimately, we it's all about well, right. But they don't I mean, you know, everyone is doing their own, you know, they have their old paths all own so parallel trajectory. And I wish they did intersect because then you know, we could in go be doing something, you know, taking it forward in that sense taking, taking traditional operations forward, but yeah,
Clyde D'Souza 10:37
yeah, it's quite funny. But yeah, I mean, migrants, international migrants, the Portuguese about more than four centuries ago brought the bread to go, right. And now that same bread is being consumed in large countries by goons on a daily basis. But now, locals are not making it so much as much as maybe migrants are right, it's, it's quite, it's come full circle. This is a very famous Golden phrase, right, which is apt right now. And the phrase is, they're poor, they're gay, or need their own their cupboards are there, which basically means those bakers, those old bakers have gone and along with them that bread, which basically this lamenting of not just the loss of bread, but the loss of old GWA. So there's a larger theme running over here, right, which is basically, that there is a change happening within guar from old traditions, to a generation that's dying away, and along with them, their traditions, right, so what, what do you make about all of this? Do you think it's just something that we just need to accept and move on?
Well see, I mean, you know, to use a cliche Change is the only thing that's constant, everyone aspires for the better way of life. So what is better for one person may is different from what is what is better for another person. So while there's nostalgia, and we lament, and you know, we are those good old days, you know, but the old occupations are very, very labor intensive, you know, guns don't want to do that, because they want to do other things. I mean, another aspect of it is like, I was talking to some bakers from across the border, and one of them made a statement that said, you know, what, Dubai is for bones, you know, go as far as in that sense, so, so it is, yeah, so we we cycle in that sense, but to answer your your crux, do we accept it? Well, is that what we want in the sense that, you know, the way essence we kind of losing some essence, we kind of I feel I want to just clarify, when I say losing essence, I'm not referring to, to migrants who are coming in, you know, that that is not what I mean, I mean, that, you know, we are killing the goose that lays the golden egg, almost, you know, in that sense, right? We're not appreciating how unique the place is, you know, it has, it has winds from all over the world, it has influences from all over the world that makes us unique, and we need to kind of appreciate and preserve that preserve this land, and all that it brings in that.
Clyde D'Souza 13:20
Yeah, so now in the in the film, I mean, a lot of people again, would not know this, but in the olden days, which is maybe 1520 years ago, they use the 32 as a fermentation ingredient for making bread, right. And in the film you shown this about I think he's 70 years old is he stooped over, but he can still climb that coconut tree in a jiffy. I mean, it's amazing. And yes, while we might all want to have 30 based, pow, those guys don't exist anymore. No one's tapping Tory in that sense, right? I mean, I remember the last time I told you was maybe 1015 years ago. So yeah, like you said, I mean, one thing is that we're losing the sense of God, that taste of God, which we all like. But the other thing is, on the other side of the coin, there's convenience and comforts, which the new generation wants. But on that note, have you ever had a toddy based bow? And do you like it? Do you think it's different?
I have had it and definitely different definitely like it, you know, if there was a, there was a particular flavor, unique flavor that comes with, you know, that fermentation that you don't get with, you know, commercial east in that sense.
Clyde D'Souza 14:33
Yeah, true. Another thing that is nice in the movies, there's this opening shot where there's this belt that's dangling into the woodfired oven, and you just see the glow, basically spreading into that into the kiln. I guess it's called the oven. Yeah. Do you see bakeries who have now moved to modern way of baking their breads and not wood fired ovens and do you think that that might just kind of you know, help them in producing for them? You know, she purebred.
See there were a couple of angles to that. One is that you know this bread that is made in Goa with the woodfire oven. It is we might not use the term but it is actually artisanal bread. It's made with hands it is made using wood and that's what what gives it its uniqueness in that sense. Now another thing is that a lot of baker's many bakers have in fact petitioned the government to form some incentives. Some SOPs really, you know, to maintain to build and maintain this oven, the wood fire oven to give them first dibs on auctioning of firewood because you know, firewood is so important, but the right kind of firewood for this for the for the process. So in terms of whether an electric oven, I mean, you it's not the same, you know, and the cost would be quite phenomenal actually. Yeah,
Clyde D'Souza 15:56
absolutely. Right. I mean, I think it's it's a it's a huge question of branding and packaging, and all of that, right. Like, for example, there is Hansel was of cazuela Fanny, who has taken a local drink, which is funny, which is by and large, consumed mostly by local goons, but now he's packaging it like, you know, like Smirnoff, or like Bacardi, and he's creating these infused Finis. Also, he's opened up a funny cellar, where you can go like, like how you go and taste wine, you go and taste funny. So maybe, maybe someone needs to, perhaps, you know, do something like that, give it give it like this very, I hate to say it, but artisanal hipster. Packaging, you know, like, like, presented in that manner. So So you know, the other thing that I want to also ask you is that, you know, just like FeNi now has a GI tag, which is the geographical indication tag, which means that FeNi can only be called funny if it's grown in Guam, from cashews plucked in Guam. Right? So do you think maybe the pow and all of these different powers from country to power Konkan all of these things are so rooted in Goa? Do you think there's any movement of giving the power gi tag? Is that even possible?
See, I mean, power is now claimed claimed in the sense and I don't correct in a negative way you know, it is a universal food all over the water power is synonymous with, with Bombay. But interestingly, it was taken by the bakers from Goa who migrated to Bombay and it became the staple diet in around the mills you know, then oh
Clyde D'Souza 17:34
no, maybe maybe maybe it needs to be reclaimed and put on a pedestal and given its do Yeah, yeah, there is this museum of bread in Portugal. It's called Museo de Pau. Right, which is like the largest bread museum in the world. And it displays all sorts of heritage objects which are used in bread making this Portugal make the same kind of breads that go make so is it like, just completely different and is are also
completely different? And it's interesting, no, as you said, you were talking earlier how drawn by the Portuguese and who knows what was the shape, texture size of the bed at that point, you know, all those centuries ago? And you know, then it was claimed or we claimed or claim by by the guns in that sense. So I'm sure it It took different shapes and forms over the years over the decades over the centuries. Yeah,
Clyde D'Souza 18:26
so Okay, so I want to play like this game if you're willing. So it's called match the following where I'll throw out a golden dish to you. And you can tell me maybe which bread goes along with it. So just for audiences, there are there is the power there is the pui which is like a pizza type of bread that is Konkan which is which means bangle and it's shaped like a bangle there is the cartridge of power which is basically a scissor shaped bread. And there is the own dough which is a round bread but it's crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Okay, so dish number one is Ross omelette, which is Korean omelet, so what goes well with it
played spoilsport again. I like I like Paulie and I think I like pork with almost everything so I wouldn't say I would have the purse omelet with with puffy and all you know because I like that too. It's crusty on the outside so it has a nice bite to it. And then it's softer inside so you can you know sponge in that sense? Yeah,
Clyde D'Souza 19:31
yes. Yes. Now a lot of people have tea black tea and GWA with a certain type of bread and that is Konkan right which is again the bangle kids also love it because they can you know put their hands into it and play around basically.
Yeah the Konkan is definitely very popular with the kids because you can literally wear it you know you as kids you know with the small hand you can literally wear it and start jumping on it. And it goes very well with with black T equal teacher. So it Is it that is supposedly good
Clyde D'Souza 20:02
for diabetes, it is the
Konkan as well as the Puhi. Also good for the for diabetes in the sense because Puhi is made with less sugar, you know in as well as more or less. The husk sorry, so much more on the outside, right.
Clyde D'Souza 20:20
And of course then there is something called called Chico D which is yesterday's curry, which governs have for breakfast the next day. And supposedly this is what I've heard at least is that the country Topo, which is the scissor shaped bread that goes well with
contiguity is like way, way gone. all time favorite way. Better. Yeah, the curvy becomes a little thicker in consistency and you know, gets mature in that sense. So yeah,
Clyde D'Souza 20:51
yeah. And you can kind of like soak in the curry. Very nicely unmuted, basically. Yeah. Yeah. And of course, then there's the very famous juries bow, which is basically the sausage bow. And that is typically paired with a bow or rune dough, I guess. Right. So that comes
with power actually very, very typically.
Clyde D'Souza 21:10
Right? Yeah. Wow, great. So that has now made me hungry for all sorts of bread, which since
that day, it has a way of, you know, making talking about when makes as this.
Clyde D'Souza 21:26
Yeah. So now I want to know, you've made like, what you've made the meal and you've made bread and belonging, and I love the even the meal. It's got all of these wonderful people like the late Floyd cardoz. And it got got a historian. It's got an author. I can't remember the names right now. But yeah, so many wonderful people talking about bread while having this lovely lunch. And
yeah, it has. Dandy. Yeah. As well as Fatima silver glass. Yes. So yeah, yeah.
Clyde D'Souza 21:58
Yeah. Yeah, that was really nice. So what's next? I mean, are you writing more? I mean, are you going to be producing, filming directing more go on stories? And is there something that we can look forward to?
Yeah, definitely. I would love to, and I'm also looking forward to but I, you know, last two years have been, it's been a blur. We've not been able to go out and you know, kind of even not not just filming, but you know, start doing research because it means going out hitting the streets, talking to people talking to all kinds of people young and old. And, obviously, to be more careful meeting the elderly. So, so it's, it's as you know, as we all know, it has been a crazy time. So hopefully, from you know, things can can move, we can get on you know, and, and go out and tell our stories, but really, I don't have anything very concrete that I can say, hey, this is what I'm doing. It's it's, it's been quite challenging for us all. You know, it's just you to be in that space to do it. And then physically, right evil
Clyde D'Souza 23:08
Of course, yeah. Yeah. Super. So that that's that was our bread talking about the bread segment. And I hope that our audiences who've been listening the next time they go out they should try more than just the regular power pulley and try and find maybe somebody who can give you some 30 base bread or maybe even 30 in the morning or maybe the different types of power as we mentioned before we do that let's get on to our second secret segment. The podcast is called of course to say God stories and my book is called to say God so therefore there's the segment and by say God basically I don't mean that typical laid back so say God but more the finding your balance in life so say God, so Sonia, what's what's your say? God secret or where do you find it? How do you find the cigar
so cigar for me is is actually might not you will not associate one might not associate this imagery with a cigar but it's it's the law of the sea. Being at on the beach, and just listening to the to the waves crash. That's my cigar. Space. That's my cigar time. That's my cigar. mindframe and I can take it anywhere and you know, everywhere I go.
Clyde D'Souza 24:27
Wow, that does sound quite so cigar. Yes. Okay. My other question which has got nothing to do with say God is a question about love, because love I think is transformative, it makes you do things changes your life pretty much so heavy question, but yes. What is the meaning of love to you?
Well, it's, it's about love for me is you know, being able to reach out and being reachable. Anytime, anything. Yeah.
Clyde D'Souza 24:58
Nice, simple. I mean, I I've done about four or five now interviews and it's always amazing to your how especially creative people, expressive people, people who are kind of, I think, a little more sensitive. Give this answer and I like the different kinds of answers that I get. Some of them are deep. Some of them are simple. Most of them I think are simple, which is, which is great. I think that's deep. So yeah. Okay, so my next segment is called Rapid Fire. So the user round where I ask you these quick, snappy questions, and you have like these quick answers to me. Okay, so, yeah, the first question is, what's your favorite bow
buoy? Because it brings back childhood memories of you know, stuffing, whatever you can, whatever you want, you know, in it and eating it because of the hollow center.
Clyde D'Souza 25:48
Right? What do you most like having your power with?
My mom's green coriander chutney to classic. Wow.
Clyde D'Souza 25:55
Okay. Amazing. I used to have in mind, and I used to give it to me with regular white bread, but I think I need to try it with a power pole. It's so cool. What's your best fancy bread? Artisanal package? Fancy?
Huh? I actually like the the crusty birds. So the French beds are crusty. So I like I like them. I like the baguette. And you know that the ones that have that lovely bite in them? I enjoy that. Yeah.
Clyde D'Souza 26:26
What's your favorite bakery in Guam? Do you have as many specific one or?
I can't tell you? I can't tell you. Yes, it is. You know, it's really any place that makes bed with you know, it's hard, really? And there are few that still do so. Yeah.
Clyde D'Souza 26:53
Okay, great. All right. So what's your this? This question is very interesting. I like it. Because I think one of the ways to kind of like a place like culture is to, you know, kind of understand the language learn the language, even if it's one word, two words. So what's your favorite Konkani phrase? And what does it mean? And, you know, give us an example of it.
So it is a one of the one of my favorite ones is and I've heard quite a few, my maternal grandfather was, you know, a specialist almost, yeah, the phrase for for every occasion. But the one that like, it's simple, it's fairly common, but you know, it's like comes Ali always mellow. In the sense it means like, you know, literal translation is comes alive, works done, and always mellow adopters, dead in that sense. So, so you know, you finish you, you know, finish what you want, and you forgotten the person who, who's done it for you. So, so I think it's pretty apt it can be used for you know, it comes in handy. Whether we can say it, you know, in jest, or you can say it in, you know, you can really say very seriously,
Clyde D'Souza 28:00
yeah, my granny also use it quite, quite funny. And I think basically, it implies that you need to be more grateful. And don't forget about someone who has who has helped you and to remember that, right. That's the implication. Yes, yes. Yeah. Any other phrase that you want to
tell us about? Well, this is one in which I find quite all its favorite, but at the same same time, it has a bit of a dark angle dark humor to it. Okay, it's iced mocha failure to come. So it actually is something that is that you see across many cemeteries in God means like, today's meet most you, you know, and I think it's quite, it's quite peculiar that, you know, cemeteries have that it's like, it's it's more morbid, almost, you know, you're passing a cemetery and you see the sign and say, hey, you know, you're next at some point.
Clyde D'Souza 28:55
Yeah, look, yeah, a lot of people might not know this, but cones have like, quite a biting humor. You know, it's, it's quite taut at some times now. So that's why I guess this is this is one of those cheeky, cheeky phrases, which which exists in amongst young people. Yeah, that's, that's also one of my favorite things. It's lovely, super well, so Sonia, I generally end with a company phrase that I want people to learn. So I'd say thank you and more gasunie, which basically means that they'll be love so Maga Sunni, Sonia.
Likewise, Clyde, thank you once again mugas.
Clyde D'Souza 29:37
Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoyed this episode of say God stories from go. Do subscribe if you're a new listener and join a community of people who love and live the golden lifestyle. Again, I'm Clyde de Souza and for more go and content you can follow me on Instagram at Clyde de Souza author. This podcast is brought to you by bound, a company that helps you grow through stories, follow them and by Only India on all social platforms for updates on this podcast or take a look at their other podcasts, Maga, Sunni and see you soon