Erin’s Stint as a Malasada Girl

Malasadas_EatingI’m not so sure I want to tell you this but here goes: I used to be a “malasada girl.” A malasada is basically a Portuguese donut – dough that is fried and covered in sugar. Yum.

Portuguese laborers brought malasadas to the Hawaiian Islands when they first arrived in the last 1800s.

The most famous malasada place in Hawaii is Leonard’s Bakery. Leonard’s open in 1952 and is located on Kapahulu Avenue, just east of Waikiki.

In high school in Hawaii, I worked at Leonard’s. I wore a t-shirt with a cartoon of animated malasadas on the front and a pink baseball hat with a pom pom on top. It was an equal mix of humiliation (no teenager wants to wear a baseball hat with a pom pom) and cool (everyone loves malasadas).

I worked there for almost a year and all-in-all had a pretty good time making minimum wage. I also had all the malasadas I could eat.

You can visit Leonard’s today. In fact, it’s now part of the tourist route, with busloads of hungry mainlanders and Asian visitors lining up to taste these doughy wonders.

Each malasada costs .80 cents or $1.10 for a “special” version. These soup-ed up malasadas are filled with custard and you can choose from haupia (coconut cream) or dobash (chocolate cream). I like the original sugar as well as the cinnamon versions best.

Leonard’s also serves a variety of old-timey baked goods like coffee cake rings and apple strudel. But really why bother…everyone comes for the malasadas.

And, oh yeah, you can buy t-shirts at Leonard’s too. The same one I used to wear. They come in sizes up to 4XL. That should tell you something about the people who like malasadas the most.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 9th, 2011 and is filed under Erin Then.

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