Malasada Day In Hawaii!

People from all across the globe prepare for lent, and they do it in many different ways and in a multitude of celebrations. In Hawaii it’s known as Malasada Day, in many other countries it is known as Pancake Day. The tradition of making these types of foods came about as a way to use up the remaining rich food supplies before the start of lent, when people fast for religious reasons. Some other  popular names for the day before lent begins are Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras. The tradition in Hawaii is known as Malasada Day. Malasadas are a Hawaiian treat with a Portuguese background. These fluffy, sugary, fried pastries are a real treat, especially when they are still warm. A famous bakery that makes malasadas fresh daily is Leornard’s Bakery, which has a long history on Oahu. The doughey balls are fried and then rolled in sugar. That’s the traditional way to make them, but Leonard’s Bakery has come up with a few twists to the traditional style malasadas. They have cinnamon sugar malasadas, and their Malasada Puffs come filled with your choice of custard, haupia, or dobash. In Portuguese tradition the reason for making large batches of Malasadas before lent was to use the remaining fat, butter and sugar that was left in the house. Malasada Day dates back to the 1800’s when resident Portuguese sugar plantation workers would make them in preparation for lent. Another country that celebrates by making delicious pastries is Wales. In Wales, a small country just outside of England, people celebrate by having Pancake Day, but these aren’t your typical American style pancakes. They’re a thinner version that you fill with other goodies such as ice cream or fruits and sweets. In the U.K. many villages still remember the day by holding pancake races, where villagers race to the finish while carrying their frying pan and flipping their pancakes. There is no better day to enjoy a fresh, hot, sugary malasada from Leonard’s Bakery than on Malasada Day. So if you’re on Oahu, head down Kapahulu and look for the neon Leonard’s sign, and more than likely, a large line.

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