In Praise of the Mango and the Malasada
Nestled just on the edge of the bustling Kona shopping district is an outdoor market that runs every day except Saturday and Sunday. There you can pick out fruit you've never seen before. The is star fruit, so named for the shape when you cut it across, lychee whose prickly red outside belies a soft white belly of sweet flesh and dragon fruit, golden yellow and spiny on the outside but sweeter than kiwi on the inside. But my personal favorite is the mango and the ones here are oh-so much sweeter than the barely ripe mangos I find in the grocery stores at home or 'back East', as they call it here. I'm not sure I can describe the singular satisfaction of a juicy mango without sounding inappropriate. Whether in a salsa over fresh grilled fish, in a smoothie or just eaten from the palm of your hand, the mango drips with a thick juicy sweetness singular to itself.
Oh, but in my daydream about the mango, I nearly forgot about the malasada. I hadn't heard of these but now I'm hooked. You could say that the malasada is a donut without a hole and I suppose it is but seems slightly different to me. A little more bready than a donut but just as sweet, and dusted with granulated sugar, it's a satisfying treat. They either come plain or filled and while the plain ones are fine, the cream-filled malasadas are guaranteed to make the heartiest health nut groan with pleasure.
Yesterday was a definite highlight for the kids and I. While Tom had one last meeting with his coach, the kids and I explore a new beach. I didn't catch the name but it's clearly the local's choice for wave riding. Not only was it beautiful, the waves were amazing. We arrived early, with the diehard wave riders and by 10:00, the tiny beach was packed with locals and tourists alike. Being on a beach in Hawaii is not like being on a beach back East. While on the beach in Hawaii, there is an anticipation in the air, a watchfulness. People are not lying back on towels sunbathing and reading, rather they are sitting up or standing, attentive to the surf and the riders. And when a swell forms and heads to shore, the riders whoop and holler with excitement. It was the perfect way to spend a morning.
Well, today promises to be a busy day. After a visit to the beach this morning, Tom will drop off his bike in the transition area along with five bags of needed items for the duration of the day. The race officials will have 24 hour surveillance over the athletes belongings. We plan on an early and simple dinner tonight in preparation of the BIG DAY tomorrow! Once again, I'll leave you with yesterday's sunset.