A Sweet Way To Celebrate ThanksgivingCover Story
November 18, 2018
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
If every year, at about this time, you experience undeniable cravings for treats that feature a certain humble orange squash, you are not alone.
After all, pumpkins have been lovingly cultivated for about 7,500 years. By the early 18th century, pumpkin pie was an important part of the new Thanksgiving tradition. For some, even then, it was the heart of the holiday meal. In 1705, a town in Connecticut actually postponed Thanksgiving until they had enough molasses for pumpkin pies.
With its spectacular cornucopia of seasonal sweets, Napoleon’s Bakery has your modern-day pumpkin cravings covered. Celebrating its 35-year anniversary this very week, Napoleon’s Bakery is the “in-house” spot for treats and desserts at every Zippy’s restaurant location in the state. For its first Thanksgiving back in 1983, Napoleon’s Bakery made only about 150 pies — 75 each of pumpkin and custard. During Thanksgiving week this year, the bakery will make more than 15,000 assorted pies.
“Since it’s Thanksgiving, we’re focused on pumpkin,” says general manager Jan Tsukazaki. “Our Pumpkin Pie ($10.75) is a traditional recipe like Mom used to bake at home, when moms baked all the time!” Like the other pies made by the bakery, this single-crust classic, available daily, is made in an 8-inch pan. The blend of classic spices, and the absence of preservatives make it practically irresistible.
For some added crunch and texture, Napoleon’s Bakery is offering a Pumpkin Crunch Pie ($10.95) that will have your guests grinning from ear to ear. A smooth, creamy option up for grabs is Pumpkin Cheesecake ($19.95), available until Nov. 30.
Those who forgot to save room for a filling dessert might try some of Napoleon’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie ($11.50). Similar to an old-fashioned lilikoi and guava chiffon, this non-baked, chilled pie perfectly satisfies ones hunger for a little pumpkin treat at the end of a Thanksgiving feast. “It has all the flavors of your baked pumpkin pie, but it’s very light and cool,” says Tsukazaki. This delicate treat will be available through the end of November.
Guests who are trying to avoid sugar will thank you sweetly when they see a Pumpkin Pie with Equal Sweetener ($13) on your dessert table this Thursday. Only sold from Nov. 19-30, this pie is a thoughtful alternative to sweet Thanksgiving treats. “It has a traditional crust, made with flour, but the filling is sweetened with Equal, and the whipped topping is also sugar-free,” Tsukazaki explains.
Looking for flavors to complement pumpkin? Check out Napoleon’s Apple Pie ($11.05), Strawberry Gelatin Cream Pie ($10) and Custard Pie ($10.75), all perennial favorites.
By popular demand, Napoleon’s Bakery will once again offer its Pumpkin Bread Pudding ($2 per piece, $28.75 whole pan), introduced for the first time last year. “People loved it! It’s made with scraps of Danish and donuts and bread, milk and vanilla and eggs, and we add pumpkin puree, dried cranberries and pumpkin pie spices,” says Tsukazaki. The treat will be sold through the end of December while supplies last.
If you still can’t get enough pumpkin, Napoleon’s has a pleasing perfect pair of accompaniments for your cup of java, both available through November. The first is Pumpkin Spice Cake Donut ($2.40), great for dipping. And according to Tsukazaki, Pumpkin Coffee Cake Square ($2.15), a big square of spiced pumpkin cake with streusel topping, is ideal for indulging. “Have some in the morning with your coffee, and then in the afternoon for a snack,” she suggests. “It’s pretty perfect.”
Pumpkin is the star this month at Napoleon’s Bakery, but every day of the year, Napoleon’s is known for a glorious variety of treats that reflect Hawaii’s melting pot of culinary cultures, like jin dui (Chinese), andagi (Okinawan), malasada (Portuguese), an pan (Japanese), pianomo rolls and ensemada (Filipino), plus their wonderful “local-kine” cakes — dobash, chantilly, haupia and more.
And those legendary Apple Napples? They were invented by general manager Jan Tsukazaki herself.
Order The Cake Of Your Dreams
When your celebration calls for a cake, check out Napoleon’s Bakery. Customers can choose from an assortment of delights, such as Dobash Cake ($9.95 for 6-inch, $14.70 for 8-inch), Chocolate Haupia Cake ($17.35), Dream Cake ($13.10 for 6-inch, $19.15 for 8-inch) and Chantilly Cake ($13.85 for 6-inch, $20.35 for 8-inch). Napoleon’s also can whip up a custom creation that will thrill your guests. “With technology — printers that print in food color and edible paper — we can do lots of customization,” notes general manager Jan Tsukazaki. The bakery’s website makes ordering photo cakes simple, quick and delicious.