I had never had a malasada. I did not know such wonders existed. These magical, traditional pastry, originally from the Azores in Portugal, have somehow made their way to be kind of a big thing in Hawaii. On our way back from a hike in the Iao Valley I had a hankering for a treat. We came across this bakery, which looked sad and unpromising from the outside. It is a good thing that has never stopped me – and we marched in. The shelves were stocked with bags of assorted treats and breads but it was the sign above the counter that told me what to get – it advertised “Hot Malasadas available only at 10:00 and 4:00” – okay I don’t know what the times were – but we were within the times and the smell told me this was the thing to get. We were asked if we wanted plain ones or filled ones. We hedged our bets and got a dozen of both. In the car we tucked into the cream filled ones first. The warm custard pretty much exploded all over us. We. Didn’t. Care. These were sinfully amazing. The plain ones were tasty too but couldn’t compete. Arriving at our hotel there were a few left to share and my brother-in-law, whose family was originally from the Azores almost cried when he saw what we had–I had unwittingly brought home the taste of his childhood. It is a good thing I didn’t eat them all. So go there – get them, and hike.
A malasada is a Portuguese beignet – a donut filled with warm custard and covered with sugar. They are amazing. And the best ones on Maui can be found at this ugly little bakery. Best if you go after a long hike in the Iao valley so you don’t feel so guilty eating six of them. Because you will. Eat six I mean. The guilt is up to you.