Posts

Hawaii’s cuisine is composed of distinct styles of food which come from the history of both how the islands were settled, as well as immigration. The dishes reflect influences from European, American, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Puerto Rican, and Portuguese cultures, as well as their roots in Polynesia. Aloha Vacation Villas in Kapalua Bay helps you to plan your perfect trip by providing information and tips so that you can get the most from your Maui vacation. Today we will look at some of the most unique regional foods that you must try on your next visit. Be sure to call us today to reserve your spot at one of our beautiful rentals!

Main Ingredients

Some of the ingredients that are spotlighted in Hawaiian cuisine are unique not only to the dishes they help to flavor, but even in their other, non-edible uses. The primary ingredients that you will see you used in many creative ways are taro, breadfruit, candle nut, coconut, Polynesian arrowroot, Ti, Winged bean, and Jicama.

Taro

Taro is a popular plant that can be used to make poi, as well as taro starch or flour. Poi is a Hawaiian staple made from ground taro and commonly served with kalua roast pork. It has a paste-like consistency that is sweet in flavor. Consumption of taro is primarily the leaves and corm. It must be cooked, however, because it is toxic in its raw form. In addition to being edible, it is also sometimes sold as an ornamental aquatic plant.

Breadfruit

Breadfruit is actually a species of flowering tree. Its name comes from the texture of the moderately ripe fruit when it is cooked, which is similar to freshly baked bread and has a potato-like flavor. A common way that it is prepared is for it to be mixed with coconut milk and baked in banana leaves. The wood of the breadfruit tree is lightweight and resistant to termites and shipworms, which makes it perfect for use in constructing outrigger canoes. The pulp from the wood can also be used to make paper.

Candle Nut

While you may not be familiar with the name, you are probably more familiar with its more common name, Kukui. The nuts come from the kukui nut tree. The name candle nut is well earned, as they can be burned to provide light. Each nut will actually burn for about 15 minutes. The Hawaiians would make leis from the shells, flowers, and leaves of the tree. The ink from charred nuts was used in tattoos and a varnish could be made from the oil. They are also the main ingredient in a traditional Hawaiian condiment known as ‘inamona. ‘Inamona is used in Hawaiian dishes such as poke and occasionally in sushi.

Coconut

Coconuts have traveled around the world and even been immortalized in songs. Few people are still strangers as to what the coconut is, or how it is enjoyed. Since we are writing about Hawaiian foods, let us share with you how it used in this region of the world. One of the most common dishes in Hawaiian cuisine is coconut pudding which is call haupia and is a staple at every luau. The seeds of the coconut tree provide oil for frying, while the white fleshy part can be used to cook delicious desserts such as macaroons. 

Polynesian Arrowroot

Polynesian Arrowroot is part of the yam family. The tubers contain starch which in Polynesian culture, is typically prepared into a flour to make a variety of puddings. The flour is mixed with mashed taro, or breadfruit and then mixed with coconut cream to prepare the puddings. A local favorite in Hawaii is haupia. The starch can also be used to stiffen fabrics, which is important when weaving those fabrics together to create mats.

Ti

Not to be confused with tea plant, the Ti plant is actually part of the asparagus family. Its starchy rhizomes are actually very sweet once the plant has reached maturity. In Hawaii, the rhizomes are fermented and distilled to make a liquor called okolehao. The ancient Hawaiians believed that it had great spiritual power and only the high priests or chiefs were allowed to wear the leaves around their necks during certain rituals. The leaves would also be planted at the corners of homes to ward off ghosts or evil spirits.

Winged Bean

The winged bean loves to grow where it is hot and humid, making Hawaii a perfect place for it to thrive. Its leaves can be eaten just like spinach, and its flowers can be used in salads. In fact, if you do not have spinach, there’s no need to run to the store as you can simply use cooked winged bean leaves in the same way you’d use spinach leaves. If you are using the leaves raw, then younger leaves would better than older.

Jicama

Jicama was brought over to Hawaii from Spanish colonialists. It is sometimes called a Mexican yam bean, or a Mexican turnip, but it actually belongs to the bean family. Hawaiian cuisine embraced this food and you can find it in a number of dishes. Due to its consistency, when cut into matchstick slices, it will provide a water chestnut-like crunch and possess a savory apple flavor. Jicama can be used in salads, soups, and stir-fry dishes. The seeds of the jicama actually contain a toxin which is used to poison insects and fish.

It is always interesting to learn about foods that have become such an integral part of our island nation’s culture. We hope that you learned some new and interesting facts about these foods and are looking forward to trying them in some of our native dishes when you visit Kapalua Bay in Maui. Make sure to check back on our blog where we will look at popular regional dishes. Aloha Vacation Villas wants to help you plan your perfect vacation. Call and reserve your spot today!

Hawaii is paradise. A more simple and true statement was never made. With its balmy ocean breezes and tempting azure waters, it is a paradise for those who love to surf, swim, and snorkel. The mountain peaks enshrouded in fog call to hikers, rock climbers, and explorers. The warm sandy beaches and colorful foliage invite beachgoers to stay and relax. No matter what your favorite activity is, Hawaii offers something for everyone. Kapalua Bay Rentals love introducing others to the paradise we call home, as well as welcoming returning visitors. Today we will look at the top six excursions that everyone should make time to enjoy when visiting the great island of Maui.

1. Napili Bay

This coastal area is surrounded by full-time residents and vacation communities alike. Napili is a well-kept secret as it remains a sleepy little area located between the busier areas of West Maui and Lahaina. This is an immensely popular spot for snorkeling with the beautiful Green Sea Turtles that call Hawaii home. Don’t worry about stuffing fins and snorkels into your suitcase though, there is a rental booth nearby for your convenience.

2. Farmer’s Market

One of the best things to take advantage of when you are on vacation is the ability to try new foods, especially ones that are representative of the area you are visiting! There are two farmers’ markets for your shopping pleasure. The Napili Farmers’ Market is open every Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. It is well-known for its all-local produce such as mango, pineapple, and papaya. The Honokowai Farmers’ Market is open every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Not only can you find delicious fruits and vegetables here, but many vendors also offer samples.

3. Gazebo Restaurant

The Gazebo is a West Maui breakfast institution. This restaurant prepares the most heavenly macadamia nut pancakes that you will ever enjoy. Compared to other local breakfast restaurants, it is also much more reasonably priced. With its growing popularity, you may have to wait for a table, but with the gorgeous ocean view, and coffee served while you wait, we know that you’ll agree with us that it was worth the wait!

4. Slack-Key Guitar Show

For those of you who may not know, slack-key guitar is a fingerstyle genre of guitar music that actually originated in Hawaii. Essentially, the tuning is achieved by slacking one or more of the strings until together, they form a single chord, usually G major. Stop by the Napili Kai Beach Resort Aloha Pavilion for a chance to hear world-renowned Hawaiian slack-key guitarist, George Kahumoku Jr. You will not be disappointed!

5. Maui Brew Co.

Maui Brewing Company began in 2005 by selling their beers wholesale. They eventually opened their brewpub in Kahana. Not only have they achieved international success, but they have a brewery and tasting room in Kihei. Their happy hour is one that you do not want to miss. Their specials include $1.00 off beer, $3.00 off cocktails, and ½ priced house-made specialties. Happy hour is daily, and if you wear one of their many MBC logo shirts or hats on Wednesdays, you get to enjoy $2.00 off their beer all day long!  

6. Honolua Bay & Marine Preserve

Honolua Bay is the focal point for the conservation district and offers wonderful surfing opportunities for experienced surfers, snorkeling and jaw-dropping views from Lipoa Point. In addition, it also has one of the most beautifully colored beach landscapes in the Hawaiian islands. If you prefer to take in the view from Lipoa Point, you might also get to enjoy watching any surfers catching the break and at the close of the day, there is always a gorgeous Maui sunset to take in. Call Kapalua Bay Villas today to reserve your vacation spot and let us share with you even more details to help make your trip to Maui the best yet!