Celebrating the Portuguese

LIHUE — This is like the old-style carnival, said Jane Gray during Saturday’s Portuguese Festival hosted by the Kauai Museum.

“People milling around the charola, people waiting in line for the bread to come out of the oven, people eating and having fun,” said Gray, the Kauai Museum director. “This is really like the old days carnivals.”

Gwen Zaima, tending the malasada tent, said everyone was doing this “to help Alice Arruda.”

“We do the malasada for the church during their fundraising efforts,” Zaima said. “This is the church’s recipe and we only do it for the church.”

Hundreds of people flocked to the event, which featured a variety of Portuguese food, including bread cooked in the outdoor Portuguese oven — which was fired up for the occasion — and served by women garbed in traditional Portuguese dresses. Other popular foods included Portuguese Bean Soup, assorted pickles and vinha d’alhon, a Portuguese pork wine-marinated dish.

“We all ‘slept masa’ last night,” Zaima said. “Masa is the Portuguese word for dough, and we had to tend to the 80 pounds of masa for today’s event.”

Chucky Boy Chock of the Kauai Museum said the Plantation Village was complete, featuring the contributions of the Portuguese people — who arrived in Hawaii in the 1900s — to the Hawaiian lifestyle. The village drew a crowd of people anxious to see the exhibit as well as escape the humid conditions and heat from the cooking outside.

Gray said the museum plans on having a Japanese festival at a future date.

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