Around the 1930s, fofas appeared as an elegant dessert reserved for dinner parties thrown by the wealthy. They were distinct from the rustic, simple sweets most islanders made, and became so popular with visiting revelers that they gained the surname of our little town. The recipe for these rich, delicate pastries, likely adapted from the éclair, was a closely held secret, guarded by matriarchs who'd mix the batter and only allow maids into the kitchen when it was time to pipe and fill them. When that generation of women passed, fofas fell out of fashion. But one woman, a maid named Almerinda, wrote down her observations and bequeathed them to her friend Maria de Deus Rebelo upon her death. In 1990, Maria brought the fofas da Povoação back to life.