Sunday, August 10, 2014


Thank you Holy Mother Mary of the Malasada!
Have you ever had a Portuguese Malasada? It is like biting into a sugary cloud. I was instantly hooked. 

I think this is Portuguese for "Incredible deliciousness sold here today."

I will never forget the first time I tasted a malasada. I'd lived in Providence a few years and was aware that there was a large Portuguese community, but I didn't know about their "feasts." Feasts are  a celebration of a holy day in the Catholic church. It was at the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in the Fox Point neighborhood of Providence, R.I. that I had my first malasada.

I found streets around the church closed to traffic, lights strung pole to pole and tree to tree lighting up the evening sky, carnival rides whirring and whizzing, and the pungent smell of wood smoke and fresh cooked food wafting through the air.

After tucking into a pile of sardines, grilled over an open fire and anointed with a holy mix of olive oil and crushed, hot peppers I was looking for something to turn down the heat. Something sweet. My friend steered me to the malasada booth.

Holy Mary Mother of deliciousness! It's a Portuguese Malasada...

Let me be rightly clear, a malasada is NOT fried dough. It is a yeast dough with lots of egg, milk and real butter. I've heard some recipes have some lemon in them but I'm not sure if that's true. I do know that since I took a bite of my first malasada I've never eaten a dunkin' donut again. I wait the entire year for the feast at the Holy Rosary Church in Fox Point for my annual Malasada fest and it's  worth the wait.

I got some Portuguese insider information from my friend Helen (her mom is a parishioner at Holy Rosary and SHE MAKES THE MALASADAS!) I was told if I show up at the church rectory at 7 am on Sunday morning (the weekend of the feast) I will get malasada hot out of the fryolator...

I set my alarm, I drove into Providence (husband and daughter in tow) and I found the church rectory.
Sure enough, a small army of malasada makers were hard at work. A well-oiled machine, each of the ladies were busily doing their part to keep malasada lovers happy.

There was the holy lady of malasada beginnings, grabbing gobs of pillowy dough from the giant silver dough bowl, squeezing and pulling, gently coaxing them into the airy pillows...

There were the holy ladies of the fry-o-lator, turning the bobbing bits of dough as they dunked and swam, swirled and twirled in the hot oil...

There was the  holy lady of sugar-coating...I imagine that would be my job if I were to help make Malasadas.

The holy lady of malasada packing loaded bags of fresh, hot, sugary Malasadas into bags, telling each customer "Careful, these are still warm."

Barely 7am and already a line...

Sophia and Steve tucking in to a fresh, hot Malasada...

Thank you Our Lady of the Holy Rosary!

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