You know that things are as they should be when your first call to Pedro Pao goes unanswered. After all, who in his right mind would call up a little business establishment on a cosy afternoon, and expect the call to be answered. About 5 minutes later, Elton Carvalho from Pedro Pao returns the call. He sounds sleepy. We feel like we are in Goa.
Pedro Pao, set up in November by Carvalho, is just one more reason to like Goa, even if you are physically not there. Carvalho, a 27-year-old mechanical engineer, set up his cheery e-business last November, and delivers homemade chorizo, bebinca, batika (a cake made with semolina and coconut), pinagre and kulkuls and, among others, masala pastes for vindaloos and xacutis across the country.
We first heard of him when a friend, who considers himself to be an authority on Goa sausages, couldn’t stop talking about the “sausages he had ordered online from this little place in Goa”. Which is why we called Carvalho up to find out more about Pedro Pao. Carvalho set up Pedro Pao, because he thought his friends who always picked up sausages and bebinca from touristy set-ups in Goa each time they were there deserved better.
Carvalho stays in a village not too far from Margao. “Over there, we don’t buy things from shops. If I want, say, chorizo, I ask my relatives or my neighbour or my neighbour’s neighbour to prepare it, and then pay them for it. It is a sort of communal thing. I was looking to do the same with Pedro Pao. Source the best of Goa from homes. I often wonder how people eat industrial chorizos and then rave about them.” The sausages he sources, or, at times, makes at home are made the traditional way, says Carvalho. “They are smoked, aerated and dried at home. After the curing process is over, when the meat is nice and firm, we apply coconut oil to prevent the growth of mould.”
Carvalho says he is pleasantly surprised by the response he has got so far. “I’ve got call from Bombay and Delhi and even the North East. The best-sellers are obviously the chorizo and bebinca. Most of the orders from chorizos come from men, while the ladies seem to be more interested in the masalas.” Pedropao.com does not have a payment gateway yet, but Carvalho says he is working on getting it up and running in about a month’s time.
If, like us, you, too, are looking for authentic, artisanal Goan delights — and the especially tough to procure chorizos — we suggest you head to Carvalho’s site right away.