THE AZOREAN GREEN BEAN®
Hi, I’m Maria Lawton!
HOW IT ALL STARTED
From the Azores to the US
Born on the semi-tropical island of Sao Miguel in the village called Rosario de Lagoa, I moved permanently to the United States with my family when I was six years old.
After settling in southeastern Massachusetts, I grew up in an area that has a rich history of seafood and farming. There are fantastic bakeries and butchers and restaurants that prepare dishes in the traditional manner, but as an adult I craved the dishes my mother and grandmother made when I was younger.
Living in a three-family house, if my mom wasn’t cooking on the first floor I could be sure to go upstairs and find my grandmother baking something on the second floor. Mom didn’t like anyone watching her cook, so I often hid behind my grandmother’s apron to help her.
My childhood was filled with many great memories of going up and down the stairs to get tastes from their pans, but I didn’t appreciate those times until they were well in the past.
As my own family grew I wanted my children to experience the tastes and smells that I remember from those kitchens in that triple-decker. Unfortunately, most of the recipes were lost to the ages because they were never documented. I resolved to recreate as many of those recipes as I could to keep our family traditions alive.
With the help of my sisters, aunts, and cousins, I traveled back to Sao Miguel and learned those recipes all over again, this time with a pen and paper in hand!
There was so much joy in my aunt’s kitchen as the stories of our family were told as the dishes came together. I’m proud to be an Azorean and I make no apologies for it!
I’m often asked why I call my company the Azorean Green Bean™. Growing up and speaking Portuguese, I had my share of being called lots of names from “Portagee” to “Greenhorn” as well “Favabean”. And my answer and reply was always “Thank You… proud of it”! In celebration of my culture, I have chosen to use the name Green Bean because I am an proud Azorean Green Bean™ and always will be.
About Maria’s Portuguese Table
Maria’s Portuguese Table® is a culinary travel show that features Azorean dishes and culture not only in the Azores, but around the world. We bring the culture and traditions of a small island chain in the Atlantic Ocean to a larger audience, and also invite you into our family with the stories and memories behind the dishes.
Thanks to the production company Cineasta Digital Productions and our major sponsors RI PBS and BayCoast Bank, we created an amazing show that brings Portuguese culture and tradition to mainstream audiences. What started as a small show on PBS Rhode Island is now nationally distributed via PBS and featured on CreateTV.
For Season One, Maria was nominated for an Emmy award for her hosting, and the show also garnered a Taste Award as well as Silver and Bronze Telly awards.
Where to Watch
More often called “do-it-yourself”, the program genres seen on Create® TV include viewers’ favorite public television series and specials on food, travel, home and garden, arts and crafts, fitness and other lifestyle interests.
Your Local PBS Station
Maria’s Portuguese Table® Season 1 and 2 air on stations around the US on PBS. Check your local PBS station for more information to see if we’re broadcasting near you, or stream it online at pbs.org.
Now available on the PBS app found on IOS, Android, Roku, and Firestick
Purchase Season 1 on Amazon
Maria goes on an 8-part food and travel odyssey starting in Rhode Island USA to Sao Miguel Azores, to California. Rediscover one of the world’s oldest cultures with her!
Listen to the podcast I record with my husband, Bob, who’s not Portuguese. In each episode we discuss living in the Portuguese culture!
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