An Onolicious History of Carnival Food Booths

Laura Hollison ’16

January 29, 2015

Warm, sugary malasadas, mango chutney with a sweet-and-spicy flavor, delicious teri cheeseburgers and hearty Portuguese bean soup are only some of the many foods served at the annual Punahou Carnival. However, the history behind a few of these foods is something you can really sink your teeth into.


Mango chutney has one of the longest histories at Carnival. The first Carnival was held on campus by 1932, and mango chutney was first sold in the 1940s. Francis “Frank” (1920) and Laura Pratt (1921) Bowers originated this trend by making jams and jellies from surplus fruit they collected. In the first year mango chutney was offered at Carnival, it sold out, initiating the long-standing tradition.

According to the late Mrs. Bowers, the recipes had “been in use so long, no one knows were they originated." Even though we don't know how it came about, we came across the original mango chutney recipe:

Punahou Mango Chutney – by Frank and Laura Bowers
5 lbs green or half ripe mangoes peeled and sliced
½ handful of salt
¾ quart apple cider vinegar
5 lb sugar (bring to boil)
1 large onion
1-2 cloves of garlic (chop or blend)
2-3 chili peppers (add to vinegar/sugar)
¼ cup ginger (simmer)
½ tsp powdered cloves
½ tsp nutmeg (add to above mixture)
½ tsp allspice (stir well, simmer)
½ tsp cinnamon
Salt the mangoes overnight, then drain – but don’t wash. Bring sugar to a boil, add vinegar, onion, garlic, peppers, ginger and spices. Then add the mangoes. As liquid reduces and stirring becomes heavy at bottom, add 1 pound of raisins and mix well. Entire cooking time should be 45 minutes to an hour. When mango is translucent, all pau. Put finished chutney in sterile glass jars and cap.

And now the malasadas – how do they taste so good? What's our secret ingredient? The malasada booth originated back in 1958 when the late Dr. Francis “Miki” Bowers ’45, who was a math teacher at Punahou, led a malasada and corn on the cob booth with his homeroom class. His daughter, Laurel Bowers ’71 Husain stated that the malasada recipe came from Minnie Marciel, who managed the cafeteria at the time. She also created the recipe to the School’s classic Portuguese bean soup. Dr. Bowers continued making malasadas at the Carnival until 2010, when he was 82 years old, gaining him the nickname “Mr. Malasada.” We were able to obtain the original malasada recipe as well:

Punahou Malasadas: by Minnie Marciel
2 packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
½ cup warm water
12 eggs
12 cups flour
1-cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups evaporated milk, undiluted
2 cups water
1-teaspoon salt
Dissolve yeast and the 2 teaspoons of sugar in the warm water. Beat eggs until thick. Measure flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add yeast, eggs and remaining ingredients. Beat thoroughly to obtain a soft, smooth dough. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. With a circular motion, following the outer edge of the bowl, turn dough and let it rise again. Drop by the teaspoonful into deep fryer heated to 375 degrees and cook until brown. Drain and roll in granulated sugar. Yield: 14 dozen.

In the past, Carnival has had many other booths such as the pizza booth, Korean plate booth, meat stick booth and even a cookie booth, which also sold the School’s famous caramel cuts. With every purchase of a caramel cut, customers got a free Punahou milk cover, similar to a POG cover.

While you're at the Punahou Carnival this year on Feb. 6 – 7, don't forget to try out all the different of food booths ranging from Chinese stir-fry noodles and teriyaki burgers to taco salad and Greek gyros!


  • 1/30/2015 12:14:29 AM

    Salivating already! – Kathryn Wood-Meyer


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