This Kailua Food Truck Is Preserving a Famous Malasada Recipe Alive

Growing up in Kailua on O‘ahu’s Windward Facet, Ryan Katsuno would go to Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop at least the moment a 7 days, stocking up on sweet bread, pastries and—the bakery’s signature treat—malasadas.  Malasadas are Hawai‘i’s quintessential convenience foods. They are mainly deep-fried, sugar-dusted doughnuts, introduced to Hawai‘i with the 1878 arrival of Portuguese plantation […]

Growing up in Kailua on O‘ahu’s Windward Facet, Ryan Katsuno would go to Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop at least the moment a 7 days, stocking up on sweet bread, pastries and—the bakery’s signature treat—malasadas. 

Malasadas are Hawai‘i’s quintessential convenience foods. They are mainly deep-fried, sugar-dusted doughnuts, introduced to Hawai‘i with the 1878 arrival of Portuguese plantation laborers from the Madeira and Azores islands. And Agnes’ in Kailua designed arguably the most authentic—and tastiest—on the island. 

“I like to believe that I’m a minimal bit of a malasada connoisseur,” Katsuno says. “Anytime I see anyone offering malasadas, I’ll try it. All through my life time, I’ve never located a malasada that preferences far better than an Agnes’ malasada.” 

Then, in 2018, the beloved bakery shut soon after almost 50 a long time in organization. 

This was not Ok with Katsuno. He contacted the operator, Non deMello, to obtain the bakery’s name and, extra importantly, the recipe for its malasadas. 

“It just broke my heart to see one more Kailua staple business enterprise shutting its doorways,” says Katsuno, who now lives in nearby Kāne‘ohe with his spouse and 4 youngsters. “Over the decades, Kailua has improved greatly and all I wanted to do was try out to hold a small piece of Kailua, Kailua.” 

Contemporary malasadas in the fryer in the Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Store food items truck.
Photograph: Courtesy of Agnes’ Bake Shop

It took months, beneath the tutelage of deMello, before Katsuno perfected the Agnes’ malasada, which bundled understanding how to “drop” the batter into the sizzling oil. This is what offers Agnes’ malasadas its signature—and nostalgic, church-fair—look. 

“Dropping is the technique of essentially hand-scooping the batter, earning a gap in the centre with your fingers and carefully dropping them into the oil,” Katsuno explains. “Believe it or not, there is in fact a technique and ability to this!” 

This summer Katsuno brought back the outdated-school malasadas to Kailua, building them by hand and to get out of the Agnes’ Bake Store food truck. It is parked at Manuheali‘i, a neighborhood clothing boutique, six days a week, with a quite confined menu: just malasadas, crispy on the outside and covered in white sugar, the classic way. You won’t obtain funky toppings or fillings right here. (Though you can request cinnamon sugar it’s an off-the-menu solution.) 

The food stuff truck was not in Katsuno’s original plan. He was hoping to open up a brick-and-mortar—then COVID-19 hit. So he resolved on a food truck and opened for the duration of a pandemic. It in fact worked. 

“Everyone is wanting for convenience foods proper now,” Katsuno says, standing outside the truck and throwing shakas to buyers, a lot of of whom he understands. “We maintain it common. We feel that uncomplicated is far better.”   

Open up 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday by means of Saturday (even though several hours may change), till marketed out, Manuheali‘i parking ton, 5 Ho‘olai St., Kailua, O‘ahu, @agnesbakeshop808 

Traci J. Lewis

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