When I was planning my trip to Hawaii, the first thing I researched was food. Naturally. I wasn’t keen to try the spam which is considered a popular, local food, nor the poke (I really don’t like raw fish), but there were a couple of things I was very excited about. The main one being malasadas. For those of you who haven’t tried one, I am truly sad for you, but probably sadder for myself as I have loved them, and then had to let them go. I’m yet to find malasadas here in Brisbane. 

Malasadas are a Portuguese donut; a donut without a hole, deep fried until golden and crisp, and dusted in sugar. As a lover of all things donutty, I was determined to have one, and to have it at Leonard’s Bakery. I passed Leonard’s on the way from Honolulu airport to our accommodation. The cab driver took us along the strip of restaurants that were made famous by Guy Fieri and pointed out each one he thought we should visit. I was delighted to see Leonard’s in the strip, but I’d just hopped off a ten hour flight and didn’t feel quite ready to stop at Leonard’s. Silly me. 

It was a couple of days later that I finally stopped at the Leonard’s Food Truck and I almost sprinted from the car to the truck. I knew without a doubt that I was going to stuff myself silly with them. I ordered a box of six. Three plain and three custard filled. I love anything stuffed with custard, but I was worried it wouldn’t be nice custard and I’d be stuck with six. Second mistake. 

My first malasada experience was beautiful. I bit into the warm, sugary crispness, followed by a soft, cloud like doughyness, and then I bit into the most delectable, warm vanilla centre imagineable. I was concerned it would be too sweet a combination, but it wasn’t. The vanilla custard was creamy and delicious. Just like grandma used to make, but heaps better of course because it was stuffed inside a donut! I ate one at lightning speed and started on a second. My son-in-law, who had assured me he didn’t want a malasada, changed his mind. He decided to try one, and four and a half malasadas later, declared them to be utterly delicious, and I had none left. I tried to get back to Leonard’s on my trip, but every day was filled with a billion other things to do, and a billion other food items I’d stuffed myself on. 

Needless to say, I love malasadas, but I’ve decided that we do not give Portugal the credit they deserve. Malasadas are Portuguese as I’ve mentioned, and they also invented the Portuguese Tart. That’s another delicious custard and pastry delight. I’ve been planning another trip to Hawaii just so I can go back to Leonard’s Bakery, but now I’m wondering if I should instead go directly to the Motherland— Portugal.

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