Malassada in the Mail?

Friday, February 9, 2007 11 No tags Permalink 0

It’s been three long and lonely years since I’ve last had a Punahou Malassada. And these years have passed by with great pain when my parents would phone the first week of each February, regaling me with the stories of the many malassadas they were lucky enough to consume. “I’ll save some in the freezer!” I was promised every year, but by the time summer rolled around, the malassadas would have somehow, magically disappeared into my sister’s stomach. Such are the hardship of my life.

But this year, this year was different, very different. You see, Steph went abroad to Melbourne this semester and didn’t have to leave Hawaii until the Monday after our high school carnival. Which means that she got malassadas. She even called me and over the phone I heard noise of carnival, the rides, the food booths, think teriburgers, Portuguese bean soup and even the Hawaiian plate and I swear could even catch a whiff of the crisp, freshly fried malassadas bathing in a secret blend of sugar, cinnamon, and I suspect, a hit of nutmeg. What I would have given to be there in person!

But instead I went back to my homework, creating an auditing presentation and reading about the SEC and federal regulations. And Friday went, Saturday came, and Sunday was long. So was Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday I went to the mailroom. And there was a package for me.

It looked like this. Did someone send me a can of soda? Tennis balls? I looked at the return address: STEPH SHAO.

I ran back to my dorm, up three flights of stairs, gasping and out of breath. I whipped out my blogging camera and shot pictures (just for you). Then when I could wait no longer I tore the package apart.

Something was in this clear container that previously held locally made smoked squid. It was golden, it looked like dessert. OMG. It could not be!

But it was, it was! STEPH SENT ME A MALASSADA IN THE MAIL. I didn’t event think this was possible! THE PUNAHOU MALASSADA. Holy cow. THANK YOU THANK YOU STEPH! It had been sitting in the mailroom for a while though – was it still good? I took it of the Ziploc bag and popped it in the toaster. Five minutes later, I carefully removed it, and generously dusted my golden ball of doughy happiness with sugar. Then I bit it. Sure, it was little more sour than I would have liked and it was very greasy (but hey, worse things can happen over the course of five days in the mail). But what I ate was the memory of Punahou Carnival. The good years of middle school and high school were I spent the first weekend of every February basking in the fun and joy of carnival. But it was not the ferris wheel and pirates ship that made me happy (those made me throw up). It was the malassadas, and perhaps even more importantly, my friends. I remember waiting in the ever growing lines of locals hungry for their once a year treat of the best malassadas on the island.

A quarter would buy you a tennis ball size treat of pure heaven, fried hard and crispy on the outside and rolled sugar and magic. I would always burn my tongue, but it was so worth it and I’d easily do it again. Once you broke past the crust, you would be rewarded by the most awesome doughyness, soft, sweet and eggy, like nothing you would dare to imagine in your wildest dream. One year I even worked at the malassada booth, and boy, I was never more than happy to be surround by vats of oils and hundred of pounds of sugar. That’s carnival for you. And one year, my friends and I’ve decided, we will all go back. Sometime in the years after we’ve graduated college but before we’re all married and tugging screaming toddlers around. And it’ll be just like we never left.

11 Comments
  • shann
    November 30, -0001

    OMG AWESOME!!!!! also a little gross, but i’d have eaten it hahahaahaha

  • anonymous
    February 10, 2007

    saweeeet! I too would have eaten it. this was one moving, emotional, and stirring blog post!

  • Chubbypanda
    February 10, 2007

    Awwww… So cute!

  • Robyn
    February 10, 2007

    I’ve never even heard of a malassada before, but NOW I WANT ONE, OMG. You make all food sound like something that dropped from the heavens. Sprinkled with angel dust. I really have to go to Hawaii, eh? :|

  • Marie
    February 11, 2007

    haha what a treat :). boy could i go for a nice hot malasada right about now. looking forward to our carnival reunion!

  • Reid
    February 11, 2007

    Kathy,Love the story, and it’s so sweet for you to get some PUNAHOU CARNIVAL MALASSADAS in the mail. Don’t know if I would have eaten them after that many days, but I’m glad you enjoyed them. Me? I haven’t been to the carnival since I was in my teens.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    February 11, 2007

    Shann!Yeah, it was kinda, just very little gross, but still, wouldn’t you have eaten, or at least tried a bite of it? hehe. congrats on creating the BESTEST facebook group EVER! ;)Hey Aaron,Thanks! My parents thought I was crazy for eating a week old malassada, but I promised them I wouldn’t get sick! :)Hey Chubbypanda!hehe, it was such a thoughtful thing to send! I’m glad it reached here before the stage of moldyness though! hehe ;)Hey Robyn!Instead of dropping down from heaven, a malassada flies up from a vat of bubbling oil and rolls around in a bed of sugar and spices. Ahhh, just as good. Angel dust describes it sufficiently! ;) You’re right, you MUST come to Hawaii. um like, now! because there’s so much food here you’d like – I promise! :)Hey Marie!Oooh, the reunion will be so much fun. I don’t know when, but we’re going for suuure! I’ll see you then, hehe! :) Keep me updated on any possible ramen shop plans you have ;)Hey Reid!Thanks! I’m so jealous that you could have just driven to carnival! (finding parking is another matter…) But like most things unique to the island, I never appreciated them as much as when they were no longer so easily accessible! :)

  • Madam Chow
    February 12, 2007

    Argh@ That’s it, next year when we go home we will try to plan it around the carnival! Oh, I haven’t had one in 8 years!One time I read a recipe for the “authentic” Punahou malassada. NOT! My personal belief is that a secret ingredient in the Punahou ones is cardamom, and I plan on experimenting!

  • Christine
    February 13, 2007

    lol, i was at carnival! me and steph waited in line for malasadas… they’re even better than I remembered. hope school is going well! i’ve been inspired by your visit to eat out a lot this semester.

  • anonymous
    February 22, 2007

    Malassadas! I went to college in Hawaii (too many years ago) and fell in love with the food in Hawaii. The thing I miss the most were the Malassadas..warm, sweet sticky bits of deliciousness. Thirty one years later I still long for a taste! Nice to know I am not the only one addicted to them. Thanks for bringing back those memories.

  • anonymous
    March 27, 2009

    its 50 cents now. curse the economy!

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