After four years, the forno at the Hawaii Plantation Village is making some heat. The Portuguese oven sat, slowly fading into history. With the help of the Portuguese Culture and Historical Center club president Larry Cravalho and Clyde Vierra, the forno is roaring back to life.
When Mr. Vierra and Mr. Cravalho first ignited the oven, ants, bugs and other creepy crawlies scurried out of the oven. They had begun to nest in the dormant oven.
After a bit of cleaning and experimenting with kindling, the forno was brought back to working condition.
So what makes this oven so special?
It is a replica of a traditional Portuguese oven. The forno is made out of firestone bricks, arranged in a dome-like pattern. To heat up the oven, branches and newspaper are used to start a fire within the oven.
After Mr. Vierra had a feel for the heat of the oven, about half of the coals were removed and the door closed.
Once the oven reached the desired temperature, all the coals are removed and the floor of the oven is cleaned. Then the bread goes in.
Be sure to check our events for future baking classes using the forno.
To support the Portuguese Culture and Historical Center visit our donation page.