Malasadas in Makawao: Maui Upcountry Road Trip
Once known for its paniolos (cowboys), Makawao has reinvented itself as an arts destination, with trendy boutiques, galleries and restaurants popping up in its renovated plantation-style buildings. Drawn by the colorful giclees of island life propped up near the door, I stopped at the Kirsten Bunney Gallery, one of several art galleries along Makawao's main street.
Road Trip Starting Point:
Exploring Maui's Upcountry
Inside, a golden retriever named Jazzy snoozed in the middle of the floor as I chatted with Kirsten's husband, Scott. He told that me that while Makawao might seem like an off-the-beaten-track location, the town is one of the few places on the island where artists can still make a living, as high rents have pushed locals out of Lahaina. The concentration of artists has its benefits, he said, as Makawao now has enough critical mass to sponsor a third Friday art walk celebration, as well as an organic farmers market on Wednesdays.
Such gentrification can rejuvenate a community. But I was more interested in a Makawao institution that's been around for nearly 100 years. The T. Komoda Store & Bakery looks nondescript on the outside, with a Coca-Cola sign that's ragged around the edges. Skip the crowded aisles as your eyes adjust to the dim light inside the grocery and go straight to the old-fashioned glass case that's filled with several dozen varieties of baked goods.
I had read good reviews of the doughnuts, stacked five to six deep on a wooden stick, as well as the signature cream puffs. You can only consume so many calories, however, and I had mine reserved for the malasadas. At Komoda, these sweet treats are tossed in sugar and filled with custard or fruit; top choices include guava and coconut, which win raves for their freshness. I chose the latter, enjoying the flavors as they melded with the cinnamon-sweet dough. Some cravings are worth the wait.
Maui Upcountry Road Trip Stop Three: Lavender and Lunch near Kula >>
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