Malas­sada – the dough­nut of the Azores

My first BIO girl post is about a glu­tin­ous food, which unfor­tu­nately I was not able to taste. In fact I could hardly even take a pho­to­graph, because of all the people queueing to get their Malas­sada.

I noticed first at the medi­ev­al fair that there is a huge crowd wait­ing in front of small food stall which said „Malas­sa­das”. Thanks to my improv­ing com­mand of Por­tuguese I found out that malas­sa­das are the dough­nut of the Azores.

The pre­par­a­tion is sim­il­ar to the Hun­gari­an dough­nut with powdered sug­ar icing, but the Azores ver­sion has this won­der­ful crys­tal­lized sug­ar icing. I am already work­ing on obtain­ing an ori­gin­al recipe.

Until then, the first Por­tuguese word for glu­ten eat­ers should be: Malas­sada! On Wiki­pe­dia I have found it spellt with one „s”, Malas­ada.

A malas­ada (or malas­sada) from Por­tuguese „mal-assada” means „under-cooked”. It is a Por­tuguese con­fec­tion, made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with gran­u­lated sug­ar. They were first made by inhab­it­ants of the Madeira islands. Tra­di­tion­al malas­a­das con­tain neither holes nor fillings. In Madeira, malas­a­das are eaten mainly on Terça-feira Gorda (“Fat Tues­day” in Eng­lish; „Mardi Gras” in French) which is also the last day of the Car­ni­val of Madeira.  This tra­di­tion was taken to Hawaii, where Malas­ada Day dates back to the days of the sug­ar­cane plant­a­tions of the 19th cen­tury, the res­id­ent Cath­ol­ic Por­tuguese (mostly from Madeira and the Azores) work­ers used up but­ter and sug­ar pri­or to Lent by mak­ing large batches of malas­a­das.

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