I just got back from a wonderful vacation in Hawaii. I have been several times but there is always something new to see, discover and taste. For the the first week we stayed on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort near Kona. Hawaii is the youngest and largest of the island chain. They have one of the most active volcanoes in the world and many black, white and even green sand beaches. I love the Big Island because there are some amazing things being grown and artisanal foods being created here. I have been to a Vanilla Plantation, Coffee farms, Cocoa farms and each year someone is introducing something new.
It is always fun to look around food markets in any city and this little market was just a short walk from the hotel.
Make sure you get 100% Alaea salt when you are there.
I collect a few things: olive oils, vinegars and salt from all over the world. When you are in Hawaii buy some REAL 100% Alaea salt sometimes called Hawaiian salt. It is an unrefined sea salt mixed with red alaea volcanic clay which is rich in iron oxide. It is expensive and difficult to find unless you are in Hawaii but, it is a lovely salt with the benefits of containing many minerals.
Look at that Black Lava salt.
Kona coffee is grown in this area and is considered one of the best. The small area that grows this delicious coffee is ideal because they have sunny mornings and cool or rainy afternoons, mild nights and mineral rich soil. It is one of the most expensive coffees in the world (1lb was $39.99 US$) but, it makes a great gift to be enjoyed when you get back home and you simply have to try it.
At the local market I found some papayas which are a smaller variety and the avocado which is giant in comparison. I learned to love papaya with fresh lime juice squeezed over it here on my last visit and now that is the only way I like it. Try it!
They love the cookie on all the islands and you can find these shortbread cookies in stores and there are many cookie shops that have many varieties.
A look in the fresh fish case shows a variety of POKE (pronounced POH-keh) is a raw fish salad, often made with Ahi. I think I ate it everyday at every restaurant we went to. Love it!!!
Honestly, they will put Hello Kitty on anything!
We ate at every restaurant at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort. These are some of the ones we loved. I liked the Kamuela Provision Company the best and I am sorry I didn't take any pictures of our fantastic sunset dinner but, it was our anniversary and I was just enjoying the company of Big Pete in this most beautiful setting right next to the ocean.
The little ice cream shop near the lagoon was a nice place to stop by in the afternoon. They served some local made ice creams that were exceptional.
chocolate coconut macadamia nut
Kona coffee toffee - yum!
I also had the coconut strawberry swirl on another day which was pretty nice.
I loved the Nutty Hawaiian Latte (hot or iced is great!) from Waikoloa Coffee - how pretty!!
I became addicted to the Acai berry bowl for breakfast. It is like a smoothie with granola and bananas mixed in.
Kirin is the Hilton's Chinese restaurant and there was such an extensive menu to choose from but everything was quick, perfectly prepared and delicious.
An icy cold beer is perfect with fried foods.
crispy spring rolls
pork pot stickers
General Tsao's chicken, beef tenderloin with green pepper, spinach and garlic and sticky rice.
and a beautiful view!
We had a lovely lunch at Merriman's a short walk from the hotel. I had been to a Merriman's on another visit to Kauai and also liked it.
An Arnold Palmer (lemonade and iced tea) and a Lilikoi iced tea (lilikoi is passionfruit)
fresh fish tacos
A Greek salad
Fantastic fresh fish and chips with these great spicy Tuscan fries.
A beautiful resort in one of the most spectacular places on earth!! This 62 acre resort has something for everyone to enjoy.
Every day ends with a full stomach and a beautiful sunset.
Next....Waikiki beach on Oahu!!