Reviews and Such Folklorama

Woven Together – Folklorama

Woven together is the theme for Folklorama together. As I went out on my tour today I kept that thought in mind. I visited two pavilions again today. The first was Casa Do Minho, the Portuguese pavilion on Wall Street. The second was the Scandinavian pavilion, a couple of blocks away on Erin. The two pavilions are quite different, but each in it’s own way embodies the woven together idea.

Woven together costumes.
A couple of the costumes on display at the Casa Do Minho pavilion

Woven Together at Casa do Minho

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Casa do Minho represents a region in Northern Portugal. It is one of the smaller locations for Folklorama.  This is particularly true of it’s cultural display. There are only a few small tables as you enter the building. Yet, Casa do Minho did something that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen at Folklorama. During the course of their show, there were brief videos where members of the club talked about what Casa do Minho meant to them.
These videos really demonstrated well Folklorama’s theme of Woven Together. Each person in the video connected at different times and in different ways with Casa do Minho. Yet Casa do Minho is an important part of their lives for all of them. For one person Casa do Minho was even the place where he met his wife. Two lives woven together in another way, through Casa do Minho.
As for the show itself, there were plenty of children dancing. The first group featured children who are all three years old. They make up a pretty substantial group. The dancing was fun and the music lively, particularly the accordion.

Portuguese Food

Of course, there was no way I would show up and not try the food. This time I managed to get in right at the front of the line. So, I was able to leisurely enjoy some Portuguese food before the show started. I tried the Rissois (Portuguese Perogies). I opted for the meat filled. They were served cold, but that in no way changed how enjoyable they were. I liked the crispy crumb coating, along with the somewhat spicy filling. Somehow or another, I failed to get a photo of them.
The pavilion offers several full size meals. I chose to go with smaller items. I decided the soup would go well with the Rissois. The soup was a bean and vegetable. I found it’s creamy, rich, and buttery flavour very enjoyable. Plus, it came with a couple of pieces of Portuguese bread.

Casa Do Minho Soup
A hearty bean and vegetable soup from the Casa Do Minho pavilion.
Casa Do Minho bun woven together
The portuguese bun was great for sopping up the last little bits of soup in the container.

Finally, I decided on a Cream Horn as a nice dessert choice. The pastry was flaky and the inside was packed with cream. I also wanted something to drink. For that I picked a bottle of Passion Fruit pop. I liked the flavour of the beverage, and that it wasn’t over sweet.

woven together cream horn
A well filled cream horn surrounded by flaky pastry.
Woven together beverage
Sumol is a pleasant, not overly sweet beverage.

Take the time to visit Casa do Minho, and learn how they have been woven together as a community. Go with an empty stomach and enjoy their many culinary delights. Also, if you have the time, visit their open air beer garden behind the building. You can listen to a live band while you enjoy seafood and Portuguese beer.

Scandinavian Pavilion is Woven Together

When it comes to being woven together, the Scandinavian Pavilion demonstrates that all by itself. The pavilion, located in the Scandinavian Centre on Erin, is home to not one, not two, but five Scandinavian countries.
The countries represented are: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Each has space in the building, but all five combine not only on Folklorama, but also on producing the Viking News newsletter. This letter will keep you informed on what activities the various groups in the centre are involved in.
As a group, the Scandinavian pavilion chose the theme of women in Scandinavian life. They made this choice in keeping with the celebration of women receiving the vote in Canada, 100 years ago. In each of the rooms you can observe the impact Scandinavian women have had in their countries, as well as in Canada, and more specifically in Manitoba.
Leave yourself extra time if you attend the Scandinavian pavilion. The volunteers take the extra effort to share the history of these nations, and are a treasure trove of information.
While checking out the display, you can enjoy the music of Silli. If you read the sign in the picture you will learn why they call themselves Silli. Hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with the similar sounding English word.

Silli woven together.
Musical group Silli providing entertainment as you make your way around the Scandinavian Pavilion

Scandinavian Pavilion Show:

I spent so much time checking out the displays that I almost missed the show. Fortunately, I was able to get in and pick up some food just before it began. The show featured a variety of dances. It was built around the idea of a family heading to the spring festival. The show featured dance groups of several ages and the festival story line held it together quite well. The show finished with a rousing sing-a-long of a Swedish drinking song.
For food I chose something lighter. I picked a cheese platter. There were several varieties of cheese, along with a selection of crackers.

Woven Together Cheese platter
A list of the various cheeses that make up the Scandinavian Pavilion cheese platter.
Scandnavian cheeses are woven together into a nice cheese platter.
There’s a pleasing variety of cheeses in the Scandinavian cheese platter.

I was intrigued by the Skyr. I was not quite sure what to expect of a cheese that I would add cream and sugar to. The cream and sugar turned it into the equivalent of eating a light, creamy bit of cheesecake. I also really enjoyed the sweetness of the Gjetost.
One other thing I noticed while touring the cultural display. The Scandinavians really enjoy eating candy. All but the Finnish display had candy for sale. I couldn’t resist the urge to pick up a little chocolate and some licorice.

Woven together candy.
A small sample of the many candies featured at the Scandinavian Pavilion.

Being woven together means allowing ourselves to be made stronger by our connections to each other. Also, often we associate weaving with producing new and beautiful patterns in the fabric. Folklorama is a reminder of how the various people that are part of Canada make us stronger and more beautiful.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.