Sweet Bread in Hawai’i

Monday, June 23, 2008 14 No tags Permalink 0

On the Mainland, people associate the term “sweetbread” with thymus glands, which, when pan-fried or deep-fried, induce hypnotically glazed eyes, and a lazy grin, perhaps with drool dribbling down mouths agape.

In Hawai’i, the word “sweetbread” is met with the same reaction, by both young and old alike. Only, when you say “sweetbread” to us, we do not think of thymus glands, but in fact, sweet. bread. Sweet. Bread.

Bread that is sweet.

Sweet Bread is the love child of brioche and challah, and a touch of magic found only on our islands. It’s the best of both worlds, coupling the feather-light buttery dash of brioche with challah’s eggy richness. Sweet Bread is quite a sight to see – a golden round, poofy and billowing with a sweet crumb that melts just a tad too easily on your mouth. Effortless.

In Torrance, California there’s a place called King’s Hawaiian Bakery. King’s makes a product call “Sweet Bread.” It is a decent product, but do not get that confused with the real sweet bread!!!

Ani’s Sweet Bread – the original, and best of its kind, is made in Hawai’i and found only in Hawai’i. There are occasional imposters out there, but stick with the Ani’s brand, and you’ll be forever happy. Ani’s makes a cinnamon version of their sweet bread, called “Cinnmon Sensation,” but I would advise against that flavour for it is much too sweet and distracts from all the elements that makes the original so delicious. While the original and cinnamon come in round loaves, Ani’s also makes a variety of other breads in traditional rectangular pans. I cannot vouch for these other flavours in a rainbow of apple, guava, pineapple-apricot, and coconut for I have yet to try them…but based solely on the post at hapa/hale’s blog, I’m quite tempted!

You can find Ani’s at local supermarkets, including Long’s, but…

…we buy ours at the Iwilei Costco, along with fresh poke, and…

…all the Spam you could ever desire. Isn’t Hawai’i great? ;)

14 Comments
  • FranMag
    June 24, 2008

    Ooh! You need to try Ani’s Apple and Coconut bread loaves. They are both delicious!

  • Darlene
    June 24, 2008

    Thanks for making my mouth drool. I adore sweet bread!!

  • K & S
    June 24, 2008

    haven’t had sweet bread in a while, hot out of the toaster oven slathered with butter…aah!

  • Ridonkulus
    June 25, 2008

    so is it anywhere close to that hawaiin bread you get in the grocery store? i think that’s the closest we get in chicago. p.s had spam and fried eggs for dinner. it was delicious.

  • anonymous
    June 25, 2008

    i remember when i first read a description of sweet breads in julie & julia a few years ago. oh my, now *that* was an eye opener!alas, the last few apple loaves from ani’s seemed to skimp on the filling but it’s still ‘ono. next time you find yourself on the big island, stop by the punalu’u bake shop and sample the taro sweet bread.p.s. mahalo for the link love!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    June 25, 2008

    Hey Franmag!Ahh I’ve been wanting to for the longest time – I shall put it at the top of my list for next time I return home…I wish they would ship it over to the mainland!Hey Darlene!Hehhee, no worries, I was drooling while I was typing the post – no more sweet bread near me, I’ve been back in NYC for a few weeks already!Hey Kat!omg that sounds SO GOOD RIGHT NOW!Hey Ridonkulus!noooo, I’m pretty sure what they carry at the grocery store is more akin to King’s Bakery – nothing like the original! ooo spam + eggs = :)…now I know what I shall have tomorrow night!Hey Leigh!NP regarding the link – I’m always poking around your blog, it’s awesome! :) Argh apple loaves?! I’m really missing out, aren’t I? Must schedule a return trip home soon – in addition to the neighbor islands, hehehe ^_^

  • Darien
    June 25, 2008

    yum yum yum… homesick for home.

  • anonymous
    June 25, 2008

    Some like the coconut. I don’t when the package says “Guava” or “Apricot”! I called and talked to Ani herself and she basically said, “Meh.” Irresponsible, I think, not to care enough that your customers get what they paid for.DH eats her custard pie (cheap at Costco). I say, “Meh.” I’m not a custard pie fan, but St. Germain and Lee’s Pastry Shop custard pie are much, much better.I do like your blog, but have to tell it like it is.Aloha, Soos

  • OkiHwn
    June 25, 2008

    Don’t forget that King’s is from Hawaii. The King’s Bakery & Cafe on King street was the place to go to eat breakfast! We from Hawaii here on Okinawa are fortunate that King’s has given the recipe for the sweet bread here to the AAFES bakery to produce and provide it to us expats.Nothing beats a slice of sweet bread that’s toasted and then covered with butter and Hawaiian Sun guava jelly!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    June 26, 2008

    Darien!See you soon!! ^_^Hey Soos!Thanks for laying out the facts – I didn’t know anything about that! We just get our round plain sweet bread loaves from Costco and have always been happy with those. But oh man, one mention of those Saint Germain custard pies and you’ve got drool streaming down my mouth, hehehe :)Hey Okihwn!Mmmmm!! Oh man, now I’m super mad I didn’t take back a dozen loaves to NYC…esp becase I have both a toaster and Hawaiian Sun Guava Jelly here! ^_^

  • anonymous
    June 26, 2008

    wow,,,, I like breads,, It’s can be my reference.. :) My country has many kind of traditional sweet breads,, there are Kue Sus, Bolu Meranti, etc.

  • anonymous
    June 26, 2008

    I grew up on King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread and so did my parents. Apparently, King’s has been around since back in the 1950’s. I love King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread, toasted with Guava jelly. I split it down the middle so that you have a top and bottom piece, load both sides with butter and pan fry it to crisp it up. Then I spread guava jelly on both sides then put the pieces together to form a giant guava jelly sandwich. Slice it up like you would a pie or cake and you’ve got a great light breakfast for a crowd. Definitely goes well with spam and eggs = ).

  • anonymous
    June 27, 2008

    My 1st stop from the airport is Longs to pick up a loaf of guava and a loaf of apricot!Coming back to Los Angeles the loaves get squished – but still sooooo good……..

  • anonymous
    July 15, 2008

    Sorry. When local folks say “sweet bread” they are talking about the bread that is like the King’s Bakery bread. The descendant of the Portuguese pao doce.Not Ani’s with the fruit topping and icing.

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