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Enjoy Portuguese sweet bread baked in old world style

Sweet bread dough rising as the fire gets hot
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Portuguese immigrants who came to Hawaii in the 1800s to work the sugar cane fields brought the recipe for their staple bread. Baked in a wood-fired stone oven called a forno, the sweet bread soon became as familiar in the islands as sticky rice and poi.


While most of the Portuguese sweet bread you’ll find in Hawaii today is baked in a more modern manner, there is one place that you can still savor bread that’s been baked in the old style.The Kona Historical Society recreated a traditional forno in a field below the old Greenwell Store in the town of Captain Cook. Every Thursday morning, volunteers light a fire in the forno in the wee hours and by about 10 a.m. the action begins as volunteers prepare the dough for baking.


Visitors can watch the process and then purchase a loaf to enjoy. The posted hours for this event are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday, but the bread often sells out early. Get there early if you’d like fresh bread to go with your Kona coffee!