If you’ve never eaten a fresh, hot malasada, you may not understand the reason locals rejoice when Fat Tuesday rolls around in Hawaii – more affectionately known as Malasada Day. But once you’ve tried these sugar-coated balls of doughy goodness, you’ll see why people here just can’t get enough of them.
There are many who observe Shrove Tuesday for religious reasons, to prepare for the fasting period of Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday. You may even find a New Orleans style Mardi Gras block party or two, complete with parades, hurricanes, and lots of beads. Basically, the idea is one last hurrah before the 40 days of fasting leading up to Easter.
But probably the most-loved tradition before Lent in the islands is celebrating Malasada Day. Malasadas were first brought to Hawaii by the Portugese. In order to use up their butter and sugar stores before Lent, it was common to make up big batches of the portuguese doughnuts, rolled in sugar and ready to enjoy.
Today, Malasada Day brings in even more business to bakeries on all the islands, but the most iconic place to get your Malasada fix is the famous Leonard’s Bakery on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu. They can, of course, be enjoyed year-round, either in the original form or in variations such as cream-filled malasadas or flavored sugars (like li hing powder or cinnamon-sugar) rather than the traditional plain sugar topping.
Any way you like them, make sure that you order extras for later. It’s almost impossible to stop at just one.
>> Have you tried malasadas in Hawaii? Leave your comments below!
>> Looking for other things to do in March in Hawaii?