February 12, 2013

Malasada - Pączki - Awesome Doughnut

It's Fat Tuesday.

Where we're from in Detroit, it's "Paczki Day." Every year, I would look forward to the jelly-filled donuts that marked the last day of celebrating before Lent. At my last job, one of the teachers I worked with did a fundraiser and sold HOT, fresh, paczki. Wow! I cannot explain how awesome the worlds' best doughnut can taste when it's fresh like that! Needless to say, I got spoiled.

The paczki (pronounced "poonch-key") in Detroit are thanks to the sizable Polish immigrant population that was centered in the city of Hamtramck, about 5 blocks from our old house. I was bummed that since there aren't a lot of Polish immigrants in Hawaii, I would miss out on my delicious paczki.

But, thanks to the Portuguese, in Hawaii we have malasadas! First of all, I was surprised to learn that the Portuguese were a major immigrant group in Hawaii. Second of all, I had no idea that the Portuguese had their own "use-up-the-butter-and-sugar-before-Lent" pastries. So today is "Malasada Day" in Hawaii!

Since each bakery does it their own way, I can't tell a huge difference between the two doughnuts, except malasadas are irregularly-shaped and paczki were usually round. However, the fillings are very different. Paczki are traditionally filled with plum jam, but I preferred custard, strawberry or apple. Malasadas traditionally are NOT filled, but you'll find them with chocolate or custard filling, but also more Hawaiian flavors of haupia (coconut) or guava. Of course there are many ways to fill a doughnut, but I'm just trying to give you an idea.

Malasadas!
My apologies for the totally unartistic picture, but I'm trying to post things more quickly to be a bit more relevant. And I had to act fast before they were all eaten!

Obviously with the Lenten season, we have a lot to be thankful for in our Christian faith and it is a wonderful time of reflection as we look forward to Good Friday and Easter.

But today, I am thankful so many different people groups make doughnuts.

For further doughnut research:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malasada (which shows the Punahou carnival here on Oahu!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pączki

Pau for now,
Tracie

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