Today, August 21, is Statehood Day in Hawaii, which represents the anniversary of when Hawaiians voted by referendum for US statehood in 1959. To celebrate today, we are going to explore one of the most iconic treats from post-statehood Hawaii, guava chiffon cake. This dessert was created by Herbert Matsuba at Dee Lite Bakery in Honolulu in the 1960s, and has remained an island favorite ever since. The cake has spread with the Hawaiian diaspora, and is also popular in the California Bay Area, especially the classic guava cake from Aki’s Bakery (also sadly now closed). The traditional Hawaiian guava chiffon cake is bright pink from guava puree, and is topped with a guava jelly. The original Dee Lite bakery was bought out by Saint-Germain Bakery in 1990, which unfortunately closed in 2018. Here is a recipe from the Honolulu Advertiser, which aims to replicate the original Dee Lite recipe, as does this Guava Rose recipe. The New York Times shares a version adapted from Alana Kysar’s book “Aloha Kitchen: Recipes From Hawai‘i.” While we can’t go on a trip to Hawaii anytime soon, this may be the next best thing!
It’s Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / Carnaval! Hope you are having a festive time, or at least enjoying some festive treats. We’ve written about many Fat Tuesday goodies in the past including the inimitable Chicago doughnut staple, the Paczki. Like the Polish Paczki, the Portuguese malasada is a filled doughnut without a hole, eaten as a last indulgence before Lent. The malasada first came to Hawaii with Portuguese immigrants in the late 19th century, and has since become immensely popular in Hawaii as well as in Madeira and the Azores. Due to the treat’s popularity, Shrove Tuesday in Hawaii is informally known as “Malasada day” and at the iconic Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu (933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816) you can even get plush Malasada toys alongside the coveted pastries. Traditionally, Malasadas were not filled, but today in Hawaii you can get fun fillings like Coconut (Haupia), Chocolate and Passion Fruit. Saveur even has a recipe for Leonard’s signature Malasadas.
May Day, May 1st, is celebrated as Lei Day in Hawai’i, a celebration of the islands’ culture and heritage. Of course, it is also a celebration of Hawaiian food. The talk of May day has us thinking of Hawaiian favorites like Kalua Pork, Plate lunches and shave ice. Here are some more suggestions from the Honolulu Star Advertiser and All Recipes.
So we are getting our first real snow storm in Chicago today, which is making me grateful I will be escaping to Brasil to join M in the next few days. In order to get my mind in a warmer state, I am happy to share this gorgeous photo post of à la mode’s journal’s summer trip to Hawaii, filled with lots of beautiful food pictures, including this tempting shave ice (or snow cone to us mainlanders).
Shave Ice from Waiola’s Shave Ice
Mix Plate Lunch on Flickr
Hawaiian food is pretty much unknown in the Midwest – not much of a Hawaiian population I guess. The mixed plate lunch is a staple of Hawaiian cuisine. It usually consists of macaroni salad, scoops of white rice and an assorted meat primary dish – anything from BBQ pork to fresh fish. One of L’s favorite places to get an excellent mixed plate lunch is Aloha Mixed plate (1285 Front Street, Lahaina, HI), though there are many fine options. Anyone know of a mixed plate place in Chicago?