One of the great things about living here is that Hawaii’s rich history as an ethnic and racial melting pot has brought us so many wonderful and delicious kinds of foods.
One of my favorites from the Portuguese culture is malasadas.
Malasadas are basically doughnuts: fried balls of sweet yeast dough coated in sugar. Customarily they differ from doughnuts in that there’s no hole, which might make it more of a fritter, but whatever. They are delicious; that’s all you need to know.
One caveat, though: malasadas are best enjoyed fresh, hot out of the fryer; they generally don’t keep well. So don’t wait too long between the time of purchase and consumption — you’ll be missing out on the optimal malasada eating experience.
Way back when, members of the Portuguese community in Hawaii introduced the tradition of eating these sweet treats on Shrove Tuesday. Before long, Leonard’s Bakery, the family business behind this idea, knew it had a hit on its hands and were cranking out thousands of malasadas a day.
Leonard’s is probably at the top of the list of bakeries contending for title of yummiest malasada, but there are others, such as Champion and Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop. And malasadas are one of the most — perhaps the most — popular food booths at the annual Punahou School Carnival. No one leaves the Carnival without eating a malasada!
This is the twenty-fourth post in my series, 31 Days of Life in my Hawaii. Click here to get the links to the other posts in the series.