What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Hawaiian cuisine? Poke or Spam? Roasted pig at a luau feast or steamed things in banana leaves? Tropical drinks served in a pineapple? Okay, the last one doesn’t really count, but they all showcase Hawaii’s diversity. The fact of the matter is Hawaiian food doesn’t fit into one category. It is a melting pot of flavors, drawing from Japan, Korea, Portugal, the Philippines, America, China and other Polynesian islands.
When Polynesians settled in Hawaii, they brought over “ocean-stable” foods, things like the ever-present taro root, bananas, coconuts and sugarcane. The islands themselves offered up a tradition of roasting whole hogs in huge pits and steaming different foods in banana leaves. Then there are the Asian influences of rice, curry, sushi and steamed buns. On top of that, Hawaii also makes some of the best burgers, hangover breakfasts and Spam creations on earth. Despite all these, we’re here to talk about one particular import, and that’s the malasada, courtesy of the Portuguese.
Based purely on appearance, the malasada looks like any other yeast donut. What sets them apart is the eggy dough (about one egg to every cup of flour), and the use of cream or evaporated milk. The richness of the malasada is a product of its Lenten origins. On Fat Tuesday, Catholics sought to use up all the fat and sugar products in their stores by preparing donuts, pancakes and other indulgent desserts. Thus, in Hawaii, Mardi Gras is more fondly referred to as Malasada Day.
When the future founders of Ohana Donuterie tried malasadas for the first time in Hawaii, they were hooked. It was then that they decided to bring the sweet treat to Canada, and what started as a food truck is now a brick and mortar donuterie.
Here are the five things you need to know about Ohana Dounterie:
- They are located at 10347 80 Avenue, perpendicular to the McDonalds on Gateway Blvd, just off of Whyte Ave.
- It is a large and open space with lots of tables. You will likely notice that, unlike other donut shops, there is no aroma of baked goods to flirt with you or a large display case of donuts to ogle while you wait in line (and you will likely be waiting in line). What kind of crazy donut shop doesn’t have a display case, you ask? The kind that fries your donuts to order. Crazy, I know.
- The menu is simple and focused – coffee and donuts. The donuts are customizable, so you can choose the type of donut: original (cinnamon sugar), chocolate dip, vanilla dip or plain, with the option of filling (cream or custard) or no filling. We tried the original with a coconut cream filling and vanilla cream filling, as well as a chocolate dip donut with vanilla cream filling. Donuts take about 10 minutes to make, and come out hot. As you can imagine, heat and cream don’t have a long lasting relationship. The cream in mine melted almost immediately after getting my donut. Since there is nothing better than a donut fresh out of the fryer, eat it at once, while the heat lasts. If you are taking them to go, I recommend getting them without a filling and ordering in advance.
- Ohana’s coffee beans are freshly roasted and brought in weekly from Calgary. We enjoyed our regular brewed coffees with our donuts. They also offer specialty coffee, and a variety of bottled beverages.
- The Ohana donut truck was launched in July 2017 and will re-open in the spring. The truck is available for corporate and private events around the Edmonton area. They also take bulk and specialty orders throughout the year.
For more information on Ohana Donuterie, click on the links below: