Here's a little history about this flour-dusted masterpiece and the places where you can find the best of it.
Amidst the natural bounties of Goa, are oodles of hyperlocal stories, secrets and facts, that are not too accessible by the travellers but to the locals of course. Several dishes, recipes, ingredients, constitute a significant part of these local tales. However, when people think of Goan cuisine, they seldom go beyond the grips of dishes that are a part of the mainstream coastal cuisine.
Visitors completely fail to recognize the importance of Goan varieties of bread in face of the state's inclination towards rice as a preferred side to their bowl of Xacuti or Sorpotel. Goan markets house several sorts of fresh bread but amidst all, Poee is the one which is well-regarded by all. Also spelt as Poi, here's a little history about this flour-dusted masterpiece and the places where you can find the best of it.
The Tale of Poee/Poi
Stories say that when the Portuguese had first invaded India around 400 years ago, they brought chilli, cashew and potato, along with other items to the country. Although they had adapted to the local cuisine here, something was missing!
Soon enough, it was figured that they miss their 'pao' along with their meaty meals but sourcing the right kind of yeast to ferment the dough was an uphill task for them. So as an alternative, the Europeans started using toddy (local palm liquor) for leavening their bread and these were further traditionally, baked in a wood-fired oven, placed directly on the stone.
Coming back to the present, the modern-day Poee is a whole-wheat flatbread, that is slightly puffed and hollow in the middle. Poee starkly resembles pita bread and is the perfect kind of loaf to mop up spicy curries and thick gravies with.
Where to find it?
As much as Bebinca is a jewel in Goa's epicurean crown, Poee is too! You can find this loaf of delicious carb literally at any bakery in Goa. So once the pandemic recedes, you can come over and check out Florentine Bar & Restaurant, Rita Bakery, The Godinho Bakery and the French Bakery in Majorda, for the best of Poee in Goa.
We're sure, even if you don't have the access to these places, other bakeries won't disappoint you much because the recipe of Poee is passed on through generations and learnt by heart, by every poder (baker) of the state.