Posts Tagged With: Folclorico Band

CARNE DE ESPETO AND THE FADA

The festival is a four day event, but Saturday is the big day for most celebrants. Donna And Bob taught us the method for carne de espeto. They pronounce it cog nah spit. Donna prepared cut up pieces of pepper and onion earlier in the day. Choices are unlimited. Some people brought their own marinades and spices, but the preparation area has a container of rock salt and seasonings that are traditionally used on the meat. I could detect a bit of red pepper flakes, parsley, and thyme.

I loaded  a skewer for Jim and I. The skewer is six to seven feet long. Then Donna and I took turns with Bob cooking the meat over the pit.

When the meat is done the way you like it, its removed from the skewer at a metal table with a prong to slide the meat off the skewer. You rent the skewer when you buy your meat, then return it and get your money back.

Eaten on “pops” a soft roll or on a flat bread called stone bread. We chose the soft roll. Donna prepared some herb butter to lightly butter the roll.  It was delicious and fun to prepare.
I visited Portugal in 2003 and enjoyed the traditional songs of the Fada. When I read in the program there would be a  Fada singer, I couldn’t believe my luck. Donna, who is half Portuguese, knew nothing about the Fada.
The program for the Fada is set in a tent covered area outside the gates of the festival,  away from the sounds and noise of the main promenade. It sits next to the Madeirense Museum. We arranged a front row table and two by two visited the museum.

Portugal was my favorite country to visit for its friendly people, the cobblestone streets, something they have preserved for posterity throughout Portugal’s villages and cities, its wrought iron and the Fada. I told Donna the Fada is about the life, a lament of her sailors, off to far ports, missing home, and loved ones. About love and death and happiness and sadness. In Portugal, some Fada is sung in a language so old, modern residents do not understand the words, but they love the emotion of the Fada and is often compared to opera.

Ana Vinagre’s first song gave me the chills and I was swept up in the beauty and emotion of her music. She  segued into traditional songs the audience knew and could sing with her. Very personable, she said,”… they’ve given me a short mike so I can’t move out into the audience and be naughty.” She would wink and pat the gentleman closest to her on the knee; and encourage kissing sounds from the audience during some pieces.

During one song she had Jim kiss her on both cheeks and held his hand.

In a word, Ana was fabulous. We spoke with her after her performance and learned that she is a local to New Bedford and runs the Hawthorne flower Shop on Dartmouth St. She has dual citizenship to U.S. and Portugal and hopes to retire in her native land. Her agent has booked her for a venue in San Jose in October and we hope to catch that show. She will email us when and where.

The Folclorico from Friday night performed again. The group uses one instrument that is historic, we saw them in the museum.

It appears to be miniature cloth players each beating a tiny drum. The instrumentalist pushes the stick up and down and the little cloth players make a clacking sound. Colorful and enjoyable.

Donna and I had a last go at the break-a-balloon game. With only two of us playing, one of us was bound to win. My balloon popped and I got a cloth lemon doll. I gave it to Donna, our irrepressible festival guide. We had such a fun time. To see more pictures, click the link below.
http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/8110FestaFadoCarne#

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