A few years ago, I was with my dad, visiting our family in Hawaii. I forget how exactly we came to these particular turn of events, but we were eating (as one does in Hawaii - it's pretty much a sport there. And I love it) and talking with family friends when we had an idea that would lead us on a wonderful and food-coma-inducing adventure:
We had to find the best malasadas on Oahu.
Let's take a few steps back. Mala-what? Sada-who?Malasadas
are basically the Portuguese version of doughnuts, but they're so much more. A typical malasada will be round, without a hole, and about the size of your fist. It may be plain or it may come with a filling - typically, cream, haupia (coconut), chocolate, or apple. Malasadas are usually covered in a coat of granulated sugar, but some bakeries prefer to dust powdered sugar on them. They're deep fried, sometimes dense, sometimes light, but always delicious and a beautiful golden brown color. You can smell a malasada from a couple feet away, you'll know it by the way you start drooling.
A typical order of malasadas.
And they're the best when fresh and piping hot.
So you can see why this turned into a time sensitive mission.
After some quick word of mouth research, we gathered friends from all over the island, in order to get malasadas from the most prominent bakeries around: Leonard's
, and Liliha Bakery
. (You'll notice that of all the bakeries, Liliha's the only one that's not as focused on its malasada game. We included it in the competition because we love it.)
Occasionally they'll have holes, but traditionally they don't.
So. We had the four contenders. We had a designated meeting place, a park, chosen specifically in the relative middle between all the bakeries. And we had a time and date.
We even had a mascot.
The Malasada Baby (from Leonard's) became an icon.
All that was left was to sample each a freshly fried malasada from each of the chosen bakeries.
to be continued...Have you heard of malasadas before? Where have you had them?