Don't leave Goa without knowing and tasting Goan pão (bread)

Lakshmi G Sardesai


The history of pão has its roots in the Portuguese colonial rule. Today, it is an integral part of the staple diet of Goans, first thing in the morning.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai


So, on your visit to Goa, try the delectable Goan poie (also called poi). At any restaurant, when you order bhaji (Goan version called mixed, sukhi or patal), don't forget to order poie.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet|Poie| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai


You can also order unddo to have with the Goan bhaji. Unddo is round in shape and is crusty on the outside and soft inside.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet|Unddo| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai


Like the unddo, kakonn too is a crusty bread. In the local language, Konkani, kakonn means 'bangle'. This bread has a distinctive taste and is mostly loved by kids.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet| Kakonn| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai


This spongy version of the bread is best enjoyed with Goan curries like chicken xacuti. You will find them in plenty at the Goan ros omelette gaddas which serve omelette mixed with the xacuti curry (called ros). These gaddas are popular on the roadsides and one just can't miss them.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet| Katre pão| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai


This longish version of the bread (called loni) is used in the preparation of homemade hot dogs.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet| Loni| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai


Bread-making is an early morning wake-up call for bakers, who prepare the dough. The unique feature of Goan bread is the use of toddy (sur) to leaven the dough before it goes into the wood-fired oven.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet|Toddy| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai


Despite all odds, Goa's age-old bakeries are still carrying forward this legacy of baking bread in wood-fired ovens.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet| Legacy| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai


And, if not for the poders (called padeiro in Portuguese), the much-loved pão would never reach Goan homes. The poder, who brings pão on his humble bicycle, is probably the first person a Goan will see in the morning.

Goa|Pão|Staple diet| Poder| | Photo: Lakshmi G Sardesai

NEXT: Do you know these facts about Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat Express?