Viva Fall River

Which bakery makes the best sweet bread in all the SouthCoast? You be the judge.

Jan 24, 2024 | Eat & Drink Blog

The 2024 South Coast “Snackdown” is in the news! Viva Fall River and New Bedford Food Tours are following up their 2023 Pasteis de Nata “Throwdown” with a Sweet Bread competition.

Read the article in The Herald News below:

Ashley Schuler, The Herald News on January 23rd, 2023

“Unbuckle those belts. There’s a sweet new food competition launching across the SouthCoast and locals have once again been given the enviable task of crowning a winner.

A tough job, we know.

The New Bedford Food Tours and Viva Fall River team is back with their second annual friendly food fight, dubbed the SouthCoast Snackdown. This latest round will determine who bakes the best sweet bread in the region.

This sweet bread battle comes fresh off the success of their Pasteis de Nata Throwdown last February, which pitted Fall River vs. New Bedford in a quest to find the maker of the best Portuguese custard tart.

For their follow-up contest, the focus, based on community feedback, will be on sweet bread.

Sweet bread is a beloved treat — especially in these parts, where Portuguese families call it massa — but its appeal goes beyond its tastiness. For many, it’s also a mix of cultural tradition and straight-from-vavo’s-kitchen nostalgia that the scent of fresh massa conjures up.

“This delectable fusion of flour, sugar, and yeast not only serves as a testament to the artistry of baking but also weaves itself seamlessly into the fabric of local customs and festivities,” say organizers of the SouthCoast Snackdown. “Whether it’s the aromatic embrace of cinnamon-infused loaves during festive holidays, the delicate layers of pastry in a regional specialty, or the sweet, nostalgic aroma of a grandmother’s kitchen, sweet bread holds an unparalleled allure.”

The food contest will run a bit differently this year, but the mission of these tourism organizations’ joint project remains the same: to spread awareness of the great bakeries, cafes, and markets in the region and hopefully boost business in the tourism off-season.

“We really just want to get more people to visit more amazing bakeries and try the delicious food,” said Pam Shwartz, founder of New Bedford Food Tours.

What’s new

The 2024 food fight has expanded the field of participants to include the entire region. So you can visit anywhere in the SouthCoast that makes their own sweet bread and try it. All voting will take place online at from Feb. 1 through Feb. 29.”

Read more HERE

Photo Credit: Jack Foley, Herald News