(DougCookRD.com) I’m just back from a long over-due vacation, this time it was Hawaii which boasted great sites and eats. The trip included a little bit of everything: afternoon naps, swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, seeing an active volcano, ascending 10,000 feet to the top of a dormant volcano while experiencing 3 or 4 micro climates on the way up, wine tasting and of course eating.
Some of the highlights include..
Lilikoi [a.k.a. Passion Fruit]
I’ve had passion fruit-flavoured yogurt and beverages before but I’ve never eaten fresh passion fruit so I was completely baffled when I saw one at the breakfast buffet at the Fairmont Orchid Resort. It is kind of visually unappealing. A clump of slimy congealed seeds that looks like it would induce a gap reflex. You can imagine my surprise when I tasted it. It was refreshingly tart and slightly sour with intensity that was unexpected. I LOVED it; even more so when it was coupled with something slightly sweeter like melon or strawberries. It would go great with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. I will be sure to look for them in Chinatown when they’re in season.
I know, not exactly exotic or new but we stumbled upon a road side farmers’ market on one of our road trips and sample some fresh, organic, local pineapple from a surfer-hippie-ukulele-playing dude. Nothing beats fresh and local, this pineapple was like candy.
Coconut Ice Cream
On the famous drive ‘the road to Hana‘, one of the ‘must dos’ is to stop at Coconut Glen’s Ice Cream and Candy for what else? Coconut ice cream and candy. I tried a mix of Chili Chocolate Chipotle smokey and sweet with a little heat, and Coconut Coconut creamy coconut with caramel coconut candies. Coconut milk really makes the difference in terms of texture and taste. Equally yummy was the coconut candy; hand sliced and baked to perfection. A pure cane coating with a chewy texture of caramel.
After a very informative tour of the Maui Brewing Company, we headed to the tasting room. Maui Brewing specializes in unique flavours using food found on Maui such as coconut, pineapple and more. It reminded me of my trip to Prague where I sampled beers infused with coffee, nettles, and banana! Some of the flavours you’d only want a small serving because they’re a tad intense like the Coconut Porter.
Korean Beef and Peppered Shrimp
Ko, one of the restaurants at the Farimont Kena Lani, offered island family recipes and includes farm-fresh Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese menu items. I had stir fried pepper shrimp as an appetizer and Korean beef with tempura shrimp [yes, more shrimp]. As they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words.