The duality of the donut intrigues. Some are sweet, soft and cakey. Others are hard, crunchy and meaty. An edible yin and yang. Here’s a rundown of our favorite forms of donuts from around the world.
Loukoumades – Greece
What stands out about this Greek treat is its heft. Unlike other donut specimens, which are dense, the bonbon-size loukoumades are light and airy — so airy, in fact, that they usually deflate when you take a bite. Most Greek islanders serve the pastries with cinnamon or honey.
Malasadas – Hawaii
Plantation workers from the Madeira islands brought these sugar-covered fried dough balls to Hawaii in the 1800s. Today the donuts are a delicacy, and each island has its favorite shop — on Oahu, it’s Leonard’s; on Maui, it’s the T. Komoda Store and Bakery. Most places sell the goodies by the dozen.
Curry Bread – Japan
This savory spin on donuts is so popular in Japanese culture, a character in the Anpanman series was named Kare Pan Man, or Curry Bread Man. Think of the breads as fried Hot Pockets. Bakers simply wrap curry in dough, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top, and fry away.
Bonelos Aga – Guam
Bananas are plentiful on Guam, and these Chamorro donuts are basically banana fritters. Most bakers fry the goodies until they’re golden brown, then serve them on a platter or in a small bag. Some come with sugar or honey on top; others are filled with jam or yams.
Ensaimada – Spain
Reduced pork lard gives these round pastries their distinct flavor — a hint of bacon mixed with cakey dough and powdered sugar. Thought to have originated on Mallorca, they’ve become an art form on the Balearic Isles.