KHS to Make Portuguese Cinnamon Bread for ‘Shrove Tuesday’

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Courtesy of Kona Historical Society

Next week, Kona Historical Society will make its famous Portuguese cinnamon bread to celebrate Shrove.

This special bake will happen in advance of this traditional feasting day on Feb. 20 at Kona Historical Society’s stone oven, or forno, located in the pasture below the Society’s Kalukalu Headquarters and its historic general store museum in Kealakekua.

From 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 18, the public is invited to watch Kona Historical Society staff and volunteers create these sticky, sweet loaves of cinnamon bread. Attendees will also learn about the traditional art of Portuguese bread making and the contributions of the Portuguese, who arrived in Hawai‘i in the 1880s.


Kona Historical Society will make cinnamon bread on Shrove to pay homage to the days of the sugar plantations of the 1800s, when Catholic Portuguese residents would mark the day by eating richer, fatty foods and desserts before the ritual fasting of Lent, 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”.

Cinnamon bread loaves, each costing $8, can be purchased starting at 12:30 p.m. Bread sales are on a first come, first served basis and go until 4 p.m. or everything is sold out. Proceeds go toward supporting the Kona Historical Society, a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawai‘i.


For those who can’t make it to this special bake, consider joining Kona Historical Society staff and volunteers every Thursday at the forno for its weekly Portuguese bread baking program. During this free program, the crew bakes close to 100 loaves of white, wheat and sweet bread and the public is invited to lend a hand by helping roll the dough.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit

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