Taking in the aroma of Gõychem Randop

L.A.C.A.R.S (Literary and Cultural Activities of Rachol Seminary) cell, of the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol had its annual programme –AMCHEM DAIZ (focus on Goan culture) on Wednesday the 8th of February 2018. This year the topic was Gõychem Randop: Gõykaranchem Daiz

The Rector, Rev. Aleixo Menezes, formally welcomed the gathering. The key note address was given by Mrs. Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa Rodrigues.  She spoke on the ‘Portuguese discoveries and plants that changed Goan Gastronomy’.

She began by highlighting the vast influence the Portuguese had and have on our ways of cooking, both then and now. Explaining how Goa was a haven for profitable trade, she further elaborated on how curries like ‘Umonn’ would not be possible, if not for the shipping of chillies from Brazil to Goa by the Portuguese. The Portuguese brought fruits like Chickoo, from Mexico, and Cashew from Brazil to Goa, which today sustains our economy. She also explained, how home grown Goan products, namely maize and potatoes were taken by the Portuguese to their lands, which later became widespread throughout Europe. She also pointed out how, today, there is a lack of care to maintain our bio-diversity and trees of no commercial value are being cut down.

Soon after the address we had our first session. Prof. Vinod Kankonkar, assistant professor in History at CES college of Arts and Commerce, Cuncolim, was the moderator for the session the session included  three papers, presented by young dynamic students, discussing the breath of Goan cuisine and its historic origins. The first paper was presented by Dolvyn Saviona Braganza, a student, of Goa University, pursuing her Master’s degree in Portuguese. She focussed on nutritious food prior to the Portuguese rule. The second paper was sounded on our ears, by Leon Albuquerque, a student in his Third Year of Hotel Management and Catering Technology at the Agnel Institute of Food Crafts and Culinary Science, Verna. He captured the attention of the audience by looking into the historic look of the Portuguese influence on the Goan cuisine. Seminarians, Alvison Fernandes and Clifford Fernandes presented the third paper of the day, in which, they enumerated the different sweets of Goa, from the perspective of different religious and cultural festivals.