Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Best Doughnuts in Honolulu and why I don't eat them

You'll have to take my word for it, and I'm passing it on from the many people who love these.

The best doughnuts - fluffy, light, puffy, big circles of sugary glazed goodness - are made by Kamehameha Bakery, located at 1339 North School Street in Kalihi. When you ask anyone who lives in Honolulu - and loves doughnuts - which ones are the best, they will NOT answer "Krispy Kreme". And they will not pass up the opportunity to eat a Kamehameha Bakery glazed doughnut, even if they're on a diet. When I tell them they can happily help themselves to my share, they eagerly agree!

I have never eaten one. Once upon a time, I used to eat doughnuts. They were not the fluffy glazed ones. When Honolulu used to have Dunkin' Doughnuts, I would eat the doughnut with the handle at least once a week. That was so tasty but heavy - dropped to the bottom of your stomach like a hockey puck - I know they helped make me the woman I am today.

Why don't I eat doughnuts of any kind? I decided I had to draw the line SOMEWHERE. I no longer eat bacon, either. Well, OK, I no longer go out of my way to order it. Once in a while I'll have a sandwich and *forget* it comes with bacon in it. We eat turkey bacon at home. It is not bacon, but it has a similar smokiness and crispiness. I admit to having a recent salad I'll write about later that had TOO MUCH bacon - if such a thing is possible!

Back on topic, to the doughnuts! I did make an exception in 2006, when we were in Portland. I had to make a visit to that freaky Temple of Circular Pastry, Voodoo Donuts. I ate the vegan blueberry, and it was YUM!

Anyway, in my opinion, there is something else that Kamehameha Bakery makes that is BETTER than glazed doughnuts. These are a Pilipino pastry called ensemada - a soft, breadlike circular pastry formed into a spiral snail shape, spread with butter and sprinkled with sugar. It's another form of dough with sugar - but baked instead of fried - and these are the best tasting ones I've found in Honolulu. If there are better ones, please someone tell me where to find them? I've eaten them from Napoleon's Bakery, St. Germain, Liliha Bakery and they do not compare. What makes them wonderful? They have this wonderful yeasty taste that's not found in the others, with the right amount of butter and sugar. They come in two sizes: small (they're really more medium) and large (which are too large - too much to eat at one sitting unless it's already 10 am and somehow you've missed breakfast and have hot black coffee at hand!)

Every few months, the DH will TELL me he's going there to Kamehameha Bakery, to pick up some pastries for the folks in his office. He asks me what I'd like. This time I told him "3 small ensemada". He went there early enough that they still had them - they do run out! He doesn't see the wonderfulness of these; he'd rather eat a haupia doughnut or a chocolate eclair. It takes me 3 days to eat these, and they are never so wonderful after the first day, when that sugary buttery airiness dissolves in your mouth with each bite!

- Oh, honey!?

BTW, Kamehameha Bakery makes naughty bread for bridal showers, but that is a story for another time!

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