March 30, 2013

Haupia - Coconut pudding

Did you know McDonalds has local menus? They are a really interesting cultural experience to try while traveling! In Hawaii, you can get Spam or Portuguese sausage with your breakfast. But don't worry, they still have sausage and bacon. Besides the local breakfasts, they have seasonal pie offerings - taro, banana and my favorite: haupia pie. 
It's not baked, it's fried!
After doing extensive research, haupia is traditionally a gelatin-like dessert made with coconut milk and arrowroot (a thickening agent). Although it is usually made with cornstarch now, you can find it as a topping on white cake, or cut into small squares and served alone.

Even though haupia is this specific dessert (hau - cold, pia - arrowroot), it is erroneously commonly used to indicate coconut flavor. So if you see a chocolate haupia pie, it's really just chocolate and coconut creme pie. Now you know what "real" haupia is, and that chocolate haupia pie isn't going to have any "real" chunks of haupia in it. But it's still going to be really, really good. And I'm thankful that I have one in my refrigerator right now.

In case you're wondering, the pie at McDonald's has small chunks of "real" haupia in a creamy coconut filling. It is delicious. And I'm bummed that I don't have one of those in my refrigerator right now.

I haupia get to try one soon!