Every island has its own special food or snack or something worthy of bringing back home.
Oahu has baked manapua (Royal Kitchen) and Cocoa Puffs (Liliha Bakery). The Big Island has strawberry mochi (Two Ladies Kitchen) and frozen Fuji apple pie (Big Island Candies, sold only at KTA Superstores).
It’s custom here to bring back gifts — called omiyage — while on trips to friends and family at home. In fact, the obligation can be quite challenging, especially when you’re lugging extra baggage — now it costs! — and struggling to find something new and unusual to bring home.
I’m heading to Kauai today — yes, first trip of 2013! — and was searching online for unique to bring home. I found a blog post by my gal pal Kim Steutermann Rogers who lists the following omiyage from the Garden Isle:
• Anahola Granola
• Tip Top Cafe cookies
• Hanalei tea
• Island Soap & Candle Works
• Kauai Kookie
• Kauai Coffee
• Aunty Lilikoi’s dressings, mustards, butters, jellies and syrups
• Aloha Spice Co. seasonings
• Maile Organics
• Engineer hat from a.ell designs
Some of these — Anahola Granola and Kauai Kookie — can be found on Oahu. But the others, namely Aloha Spice Co. and Aunty Lilikoi’s slew of products, can’t. I would also add Papa’a Sweet Potato Chips from Hanapepe to that list, too. Granted, only if the shop is open when you get there. (After all, we are talking about Kauai!)
So I’d love to hear your omiyage picks for each island, including Oahu. It’s great to know what I should take to my Neighbor Island friends, too!