Gift guide: locally made treats from Hawaii
Top to bottom, left to right: Pickled pohole from Maui Preserved, stollen from Kahala Hotel, Monkeypod Jams, OnoPops' natural syrups, Madre Chocolate's Hawaiian Chocophile Deluxe Gift Box, Adoboloco's hot sauces
Still looking for gifts? Check out this batch of uniquely Hawaii, locally made treats that would also make a delicious appearance at your holiday spread:
Forget Peter Piper and his peck of pickled peppers. Instead, pick up pickled pohole ($10) from Maui Preserved. Not only are the pohole crunchy and addictive, the unfurling tops make for striking garnishes for cocktails. And speaking of cocktails, the Mai Tai set ($30) also makes a fine gift—it includes a jar of sweet and spicy pineapple, pineapple cane syrup and vanilla powder.
Full selection of products available online at mauipreserved.com, selected items such as vanilla powder and beans available at Whole Foods Kahala and Kailua, mauipreserved.com
Monkeypod Jam blends Kauai-grown ingredients into jams and jellies spoonable straight from the jar. Winning flavors include apple banana foster jam and mountain apple pepper jelly. Warm up the apple banana foster jam and pour it over vanilla ice cream to enjoy its cinnamony blend of tart and sweet, and pair the sweet heat of the mountain apple pepper jelly with a cheese plate.
Available at R. Fields, monkeypodjam.com
Adoboloco sauces prove that there's more to peppers than hotness (which is more than we can say for Ryan Lochte). These hot and tangy sauces showcase the unique character of different pepper varieties. In order of hotness, from mild to messed up: Jalapeño, which is almost like a tomatillo salsa verde; Habanero, with a floral note that floats just above the heat; and the Hamajang, a blend of kiawe smoked ghost peppers and fresh habanero.
Available at Red Pineapple at Ward Center, adoboloco.com
We stole this idea from one of Lei Chic's holiday gift guides. Shave ice flavors of red, blue and green are fine (even if Andrew Zimmern thinks they're bizarre), but for a taste of real fruit, pick up OnoPops natural syrups ($14.99), made with local fruit (think tamarind from Honolulu, oranges from Kona and strawberries from Kula) and evaporated cane sugar. Perfect for sodas, cocktails and shave ice (you know, for your shave ice holiday party when you rent a shave ice machine).
Available at Whole Foods Kahala and Kailua
Madre Chocolate offers a gift box highlighting some of Hawaii's best, small-batch artisans. In addition to two bars of chocolate (the Hawaiian 70% chocolate bar and coconut milk and caramelized ginger bar) the Hawaiian Chocophile Deluxe Gift Box ($59) offers Madre's Cinnamon Daddy Mactella, a chocolate macadamia nut spread; wild harvested pink peppercorn; Hawaiian cacao nibs; Mauna Kea Tea, a delicate green tea grown, harvested and roasted in Honokaa; and Kona Gold Hawaiian Grown vanilla. There's one non-edible: Indigenous' bar of soap made with cacao shells.
20-A Kainehe St, Kailua, 377-6440, madrechocolate.com
The new Big Island Candies shop at Ala Moana mall offers manju ($8 for a box of 8). Its version has little in common with the dry, flaky pastries that usually pass as manju, but are more akin to buttery, tender cookies encasing soft, oozing chocolate or pineapple, chewy and sweet, reminiscent of Taiwanese pineapple cakes. These make for perfect last-minute presents or hostess gifts; these delicate cookies have a shelf-life of about a week.
Big Island Candies at Ala Moana mall, bigislandcandies.com
Not exactly uniquely Hawaii, but a must for Christmas: the best stollen ($18) in town, at Kahala Hotel, where pastry chef Michael Moorhouse first soaks raisins and candied citrus peels in rum for a couple of days. He folds them into a heavy dough spiced with cinnamon, clove, ginger, black pepper and nutmeg, and gives it a marzipan center. After it's been baked, the entire loaf is dipped in clarified butter and covered in sugar for a festive, holiday loaf.
Kahala Hotel and Resort