Monday, August 18, 2008

Foodie Friend Fun at the Made in Hawaii Festival

Once I had dinner with Michelle from The Accidental Scientist and realized she was not going to hack me into pieces as one of my friends thought (see post here), I knew I had found a wonderful new foodie friend. Foodie friends are great because they understand and sometimes even share your little foodie quirks like having more cookbooks than a reasonable person should own, having a unnatural fascination with kitchen gadgets, being able to spend 30 minutes transfixed in front of a shelf of olive oils, etc. They understand when 90% of your vacation photos are of the food you ate and that a splurge dinner with a pricey tasting menu is an occasional necessity. They are just plain great to do foodie kind of things with, things that would make some of your other friends impatient--so when Michelle asked if I wanted to go the the Made in Hawaii Festival, I of course said yes.

This is the 13th year of the festival, which features products all grown or made in Hawaii. Although not exclusively food, there was certainly a lot of it there, along with a lot of people; the festival has over 400 booths and attracts about 35,000 attendees. We made plans to meet there at 10:00 when it opened and Michelle was there early waiting with our tickets in the line that was snaking around the center to get in.

Once inside we made our way through the booths, sampling (no lunch needed) and looking at all there was to see and buy. We seemed to spend the most time at the food booths (big surprise there!) and ended up buying some similar things--I love anyone who likes chocolate and tea as much as I do. It was nice going with someone who didn't feel a need to mention that I had already bought two things of tea--"did I really need another one?" We both got excited to get a free Hawaii Seasonality Chart for produce (yes contrary to popular belief there are growing seasons here in Hawaii too), mine is already hanging with pride in my pantry cupboard.

So what goodies did I come home with?
  • Waialua Estate single origin chocolate from Oahu's North Shore (extra dark, 70% cacao) in 5 little .35 oz bars.

  • Lemon Mamaki Tea --a blend of lemongrass and mamaki (a Hawaiian herbal tea that is grown in remote areas of the island--thought to cleanse the body of impurities). This tea blend with Rooibos is supposed to help with digestion, immunity and promote healthy skin--just hope it tastes good!

  • Very Berry Passion Ice Tea Blend--a black tea with passion fruit and berries

  • Tutu's Organic No Salt Seasoning--a mixture of different spices, herbs, citrus peel, etc.

  • Old Fashioned Baked Mango Chutney from Maui--yum!

  • Sparkling White Wine Mango Jam--a delicious jam (I am a sucker for jams and preserves)

  • A Hawaiian Vanilla Company vanilla bean in a bottle to make my own vanilla extract. (After seeing the extract Kat made, I have been wanting to this. The guy at the booth recommends rum instead of vodka for more flavor--hmm...)

  • Hawaiian Vanilla Company--Rainforest Vanilla Rooibos Tea--it smelled SO Good!

I could have bought a lot more--we tried some really good things but I tried not to buy too much. I can also feel good that my dollars went to local vendors and growers. It was a great way to spend a few hours on Sunday, just hanging out with a fellow foodie--thanks Michelle for suggesting it! I look forward to more foodie exploration and excursions.


  1. what a great foodie event and what great company you had too. I hope you post about those teas and I can't wait to hear about your extract too.

  2. Wow, what a fun event! Everything you bought sounds amazing, I am a tea lover too and always seem to have a ton of tea, but that doesn't stop me from buying a new flavor, no way :) I love your growing chart as well. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I had a fabulous time too, my dear! Not too shabby for a *second date,* wouldn't you say?! Thanks for going with me!

    ...although I didn't need dinner after all that...but of course I still ate dinner anyway - the no salt seasoning on a mustard-brushed pork tenderloin; it's pretty tasty stuff! I can't wait to hear how you like everything you bought (I see you opened the chocolate; or did they tell us that there were 5 little bars in there? :)

    See you soon!

  4. Kat--it was fun. the extract should be interesting!

    Andrea--You can never have too much tea!

    Michelle--It was a great *second date* ;-) Glad to know the seasoning was good. I looked at the chocolate but didn't try it yet!


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