Better Late (to Leonard’s) than Never

Leonard's Store

Every time I admit it, I get berated, but I’ll say it again: I have never, in my travels to Hawaii, had a malasada from Leonard’s. Or, I hadn’t until the other day.

Leonard's Box

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that I’m not one of those fried foods aficionados. Heck, I rarely eat it because: a) growing up, my mother would have dropped dead before feeding us anything beyond a French Fry and b) there’s a disproportionate amount of poorly-made, greasy, and just-plain underwhelming fried food out there. I know, you think I’m un-American, but let’s get past that because, despite my deficiencies, I too have fried my share of Snickers and noshed my quota of Tom Thumb Donuts.

I could go on about how great they are and use a bunch of food-porny adjectives, but suffice it to say Leonard’s has it so down pat that I was gobbling down donuts only to seek out another. Doughy, perfectly fried, and glistening with sugar, the classic is hard to improve upon. But, just to be sure, I tried a few other flavors for an all-out taste test.

The result? After having at an original (plain sugar), a cinnamon-sugar, a li hing (salted dried plum powder), and haupia custard (coconut), I not only had a collision of a sugar rush and food coma to last the rest of the day, but also decided they were all too tasty to declare just one a favorite. One things for certain: for the remainder of my island time, I’ll be searching out any excuse to route me near Leonard’s.

Samples from Leonard's