Stroll by the Portuguese Bakery in Provincetown one morning, and you can’t help but stop and peer through the window and into a deep fryer where globs of dough are bathing in hot oil. They emerge — sizeable, knobby, crispy, puffy, tender, and golden. A dusting of powdered sugar adds to the bliss when your teeth sink into the first bite. These are malassadas, or Portuguese fried dough — not an inventive or fancied pastry but a beloved indulgence. Chuck Stanko is the man with the lengthy tongs frying the batches and the new owner with his husband, George Carroll, of this Provincetown institution. For 11 years, the couple ran a bakery in Delaware and Carroll was the baker. Their new location has been a bakery since the early 1900s, and over generations has had ties to the same Portuguese families. The couple even inherited original recipes that came from the Azores. Stanko believes they are only the third proprietors. “Portuguese is such an essential part of P-town, so we want to keep the integrity of the bakery, expand, and continue to convey the Portuguese message to the people coming in,” Carroll says. “Lots of people who walk in just want the Portuguese pastries.” Shelves are lined with the classic Portuguese sweet breads, rolls, and rounds, and pastries: pasteis de nata, or zingy lemon custard tarts with crispy, rich crust; bolus de Berlim, sugar speckled doughnuts bursting with custard cream; and penhascos, crisp almond meringues that melt in your mouth. Carroll has also added some of his specialties, including cheesecakes in creative flavors — key lime, cinnamon roll, and mint chocolate. He humbly admits, in Delaware, he won awards for his cheesecakes. 299 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-1803; provincetownportuguesebakery.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.