Hot on the heels of the Portuguese Sausage Shootout comes another popular island favorite from the Portuguese, the Malasada. I work in an office where folks love to share food, and yesterday was no exception as one of our accountants brought us a box of Leonard’s Malasadas from their wagon located in Waikele Shopping Center.
Malasadas are essentially a doughnut shaped as shown (no hole in it), about the size of a racket ball, deep fried until GBD and dusted with a light coat of granulated sugar. Leonard’s also offers filled versions with custard, chocolate or Haupia (coconut cream). They’re 60 cents each or cheaper if purchased in larger quantities.
I haven’t had Malasadas for a while; the last time being from Champion Malasadas (Beretania st.), a formidable contender to Leonard’s. Well this batch was consistent to what I always remember Leonard’s to be… fluffy, slightly spongee, slightly chewy, with a nice change in texture from the deep-fried outer crust, complimented, but not overdone by the granulated sugar finish. What’s most important is that they’re not greasy, which is a testament that they have good management over proper oil temperature. Just a slight “slick” on the crust that helps the sugar stick to them and also provides a sort of buttery finish in texture if you will. They might even have some secret ingredient that helps prevent oil from penetrating into the dough as it cooks.
Reheating or eating them cold just isn’t an option. Just like anything else that’s deep-fried, Malasadas are something you MUST eat while it’s piping hot straight from the bakery or wagon.
I’m having evil thoughts about this. How about making a Malasada Dog? lol Heck, they did it with Andagi (Okinawan donuts), so why not the Malasada? O.K., one day after my arteries take a break perhaps I’ll try that.
This Leonard’s logo sticker they put on each box is a whimsical, yet accurate illustration of what their famous red and white striped Malasada wagon looks like…
They also have a bakery home base located on Kapahulu Avenue that’s been there for decades.
While their may be a few contenders out there, the first name that comes to mind when you mention Malasadas is Leonard’s… a household name in Hawaii that continues to this day with excellence.