Kona Historical Society will make its famous Portuguese cinnamon bread to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. This special bake will happen on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at Kona Historical Society’s stone oven, or forno, located in the pasture below its main office and its historic general store museum in Kealakekua.

Two volunteers, Leila Nessen (left) and Kathy Roseler (right) brush freshly baked rolls of cinnamon bread with butter during Shrove Tuesday, 2017. 

From 10 am to noon, the public is able to watch Kona Historical Society staff and volunteers create these sticky, sweet loaves of cinnamon bread at the outdoor stone oven, a reproduction of the “forno,” the oven used by the Portuguese immigrants who came to Kona in the 1880s. Attendees will also learn about the traditional art of Portuguese bread making and the contributions of the Portuguese.

Kona Historical Society makes cinnamon bread on Shrove Tuesday to pay homage to the days of the sugar plantations of the late 19th century, when resident Catholic Portuguese would mark the day by eating richer, fatty foods and desserts before the ritual fasting of the Lent season, which lasts 40 days. They would often use up butter and sugar prior to Lent by making large batches of malasadas, the well-known and beloved Portuguese doughnut without a hole. Shrove Tuesday is also known as Fat Tuesday.

The loaves are sold for $8 each on a first-come, first-serve basis from 12:45 p.m. until sold out. ¬†Proceeds benefit the Kona Historical Society, a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona Districts and their larger context in the history of Hawaii. These Special Bakes are part of the Society’s free Portuguese Bread Baking Program, which celebrates Portuguese contributions to Kona’s ranching heritage and perpetuates the art of baking of Portuguese bread in the traditional way. Portuguese families typically shared their ovens communally and worked together to produce the weekly bread for everyone.

Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit www.konahistorical.org. To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society on Facebook.