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Portuguese Festa Malassadas

I made it again this year to the 2009 Portuguese Festa, which took place yesterday, September 19, 2009. Albeit I arrived very late in the afternoon, so most of the food booths had already closed down. The only Portuguese grindz remaining were the Portuguese Bean Soup tent, Portuguese Sausage Hot Dog tent, Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop Malassadas tent and a purveyor of pickled foods inside.

It was way too hot for soup or hot dogs, so I decided just to have a sample of Agnes’ Malassadas, as I’ve never tried theirs before; only Leonard’s and Champion.

Like Andagi at the Okinawan Festival, at the Portuguese Festa, Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop cooks their Malassadas by bulk in this giant propane burner Wok…

Malassadas by Agnes Portguese Bake Shop

Here they are piping hot ‘n fresh out of the fryer, when they must be immediately coated with the granulated sugar…

There you have it…

Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop Malassada served at the 2009 Portuguese Festa

Let’s have a bite…

How is it? I’d say Agnes’ Malassada is more glutenous and less “airy” (more dense) than Leonard’s and Champion, which of those two, are difficult to tell apart IMO. Agnes’ Malassada is very similar both in flavor and texture to the one Punahou Carnival sells. Both Punahou and Agnes’ Malassada dough recipe must look very similar by the numbers. How would I rate it? Easy 4 SPAM Musubi for taste, albeit overpriced at $1 each, which seems high considering how small each one is. They should be more like 60 cents or 75 cents each max. Of course, like most cultural festivals, this is a fundraiser, so higher prices are expected right across the board.

Then you have their spelling with two “SS” instead of one: Malassada; not Malasada. They say the proper spelling is with two S’s. OK, fine then. I might change my name to Pommai. lol

I also picked up a couple packages of boiled Lupini Beans, which the Portuguese call Tremocas…

Tremocas (Lupini Beans)

It’s difficult to explain what Tremocas taste like. Think tender Kidney bean meets boiled peanut and that sort of is how they taste. Not exactly, but you get the picture.

I also got a container of pickled garlic…

Pickled Garlic

Now this I really dig! Pickled Garlic? Who woulda’ thought?! It’s FANTASTIC! Of course very healthy as well. If you have recipe for pickled garlic, please share. I want to learn how to make my own. This one is very simple, tasting like just vinegar, salt and water, yet it’s absolutely ONO. Love it.

Guess who else was there during my visit? The “Supah’ Podogee” himself, FRANK DELIMA!….

“Pawdagee Head Quadas” king Frank DeLima at the 2009 Portuguese Festa at Ala Moana McCoy Pavillion

The same Portuguese ethnic displays from last year’s festival were on display again this year, along with a multi-ethnic geneology tracing room with experts on hand to help anyone interested in finding their roots in Portugal. My cousin who is a government professor in Washington DC already did that footwork for our family.

I’ll make sure to arrive earlier at next year’s Festa so I don’t miss out on all the other Portuguese grindz. Good stuff.

One of the reasons I got there late was that I spent about 40 minutes outside on Magic Island (in Ala Moana Beach Park) trying to get a glimpse of the Thunderbirds airshow that was also taking place at the time I was there. While they remained mostly over the Hickam/Airport area, I was still able to capture a few cool jet trail shots. Here they are…

Thunderbirds over Hickam AFB, Ala Moana beach (on a clear sunny day) in foreground

Hokua and Nauru condominium towers in foreground

Thunderbirds over Hickam AFB – Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Thunderbirds will also be performing today, Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 3pm at Hickam AFB.

See you there!

P.S. A new restaurant will be opening in 2010 called Taste of Portugal Restaurant Hawaiii, featuring classic Portuguese cusine. Some of the featured dishes include:
• Portuguese Bean Soup
• Famous Codfish Dishes
• Carne de Porco Alentejana (Portuguese Pork & Clams)
• Cozido a Portuguesa (traditional boiled meat & cabbage dish)
• Other Brazillian and Portuguese dishes

For more information, visit their website here:


7 thoughts on “Portuguese Festa Malassadas

  • September 20, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Hawaii translated in Portuguese is spelled with 3 I’s. LOL

  • September 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I do like the hole in the center for it fry up better. Perfer a regular one than those new age types.

  • September 20, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Yum! Oh how I miss the malasadas! Thanks for reminding me. =^)

  • September 28, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Wow, Uncle Frank still looks good.

    Curious to know what you think about the more “rustic” shape of the malasadas compared to the nice round puffs from Leonard’s.

    Man, I totally missed the Portuguese Festa that was in San Jose this past June. Nothing Portuguese going on here in Kuching. May have to head over to Malacca or possibly Macau for that.

  • February 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Would you believe the proper Portuguese spelling is “Malassadas” with 2 ss! For some unknown reason it seems everyone on the web has zoomed in on the Hawaiian version of Malasadas including the filled version.
    If you go to the oldest and largest Portuguese Feast in the World (102 years old), “Feast of the Blessed Sacrament” in New Bedford, MA (home of New England whalers that hunted whales in Hawaii): http://portuguesefeast.com/ you will find the Malassadas are not filled and are the size of “Frisbees”.  Leitesculinaria.com which cooks Azorean also makes the large flat size and Chef Emeril Lagasse makes a square version.
    Wikipedia points out the spelling difference plus the fact that Malassadas were made mainly by Portuguese from Madeira and the Azores and traditional malasadas contain neither holes nor fillings.

    • February 14, 2016 at 1:14 pm


      Yeah, lots of Portuguese names were modified when it reached the islands, including last names. As I said, you won’t find any Souza (spelled with a ‘z’) in the phone book in Portugal. It’s Sousa with an ‘s’, or more often De Sousa. I believe the Brazilians also modify the spelling of Portuguese words and names a lot.

      Interesting that they make their Malassadas large and flat like frisbee. The filled malasada is a relatively new thing I believe Leonard’s Bakery did first. I find nothing wrong with that, and actually like those better, as the custard filling balances out the heaviness of the deep-fried malasada.

      We used to make “malasadas” at home using the frozen Pillsbury Biscuit Dough (I think it was that one). Not bad, and super easy. I wonder if you could make Malassadas in your ActiFry?

      While I may be half Portuguese, honestly I don’t really care for Malassadas. Too heavy. On occasion, sure, however I wouldn’t go out and buy a whole dozen. I’d rather have a good ‘ole all-American Glazed Doughnut.

      Have you ever been to Kamehameha Bakery? If you haven’t, you MUST! Take  your hot date there, she’d love it! I highly recommend the Haupia Malasada, Poi Doughnut and Apple Fritter. And they’re SO CHEAP! Especially if you compare their prices to most other bakeries, including Safeway. Dangerous for the waistline, but so ono!


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