Goa the land of scrumptious food, generous people and traditional cultures that go way back. The serene beaches that give a whole new meaning to rejuvenation. Goa is the top most destination for tourists hands down. But there is a completely different side to it. Here in Goa the business industries are advancing and the infrastructure is getting better.
Though the state is seeing a lot of modern changes there are a few places or a few people who are still involved in local traditional businesses. Goa a small state amidst the other vast and sizeable states shouldn’t be underestimated at all. We definitely have very rich cultures and traditions.
Some of the traditional businesses that still exist in Goa are fishing, farming, baker(Poder), toddy tapping etc. These businesses are usually passed down from generation to generation. Hence keeping the secret family recipes alive!
The Goan Baker or rightly known to the Goans as ‘Poder’ is someone who is awaited everyday 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. The children run to get their ‘pãos’; having it fresh and hot is the best way to savour it!
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 pão or pav, the flat and round crisp bread with a slight layer of wheat husk is Poie, crunchy bangles called Kankna and scissored bread or katriancho pão.
Taste, texture and flavours will definitely vary in Goa as the pão from the north will be different from the pão in the south. Every village has a bakery where Goans can get their bread right from the oven. This art of bread making was first brought to us by the Portuguese, the only difference being they used toddy instead of yeast for the fermenting process. These breads (pãos) are absolute masterpieces.
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 pão, rising prices, few government incentives is making it hard for the poders to get by.
The Poders need to be supported in their profession and they also need to be assisted economically and socially. We cannot let modernization ruin a tradition that has been a part of Goa for centuries. Poder has after all given us those cherished childhood memories of eating the pão(bread) with family.