Cover Story continued

Triple-decker of mango, melona and red velvet
Image: Kelsie Kikuchi

Food Section

Possibly the best food pairing, ever New twist on a fave Meet the now cookie Grass-fed snack attack Coffee like liquid gold Taste the all-pure allure Lose the Ranch already Don’t let the red fool you

LOVE STORY

Whatever it is about crispy, bubbly fat that makes for tantalizing edibles, bacon has it all. The pairing of bacon with any food group is satisfactory by default, but there’s something about its trendy partnership with maple syrup that takes the cake–or in Sure Shot Cafe’s case, the scone. Sumptuous, yet not overly-sweet on the tongue, their maple bacon scone is a people pleaser, baked fresh in-house and swiftly sold out by noon. Just be sure to call ahead, the scone calendar rotates daily and this precious gem is only available on certain days of the week, usually Saturdays.

$2.25 Sure Shot Cafe, 1249 Wilder Ave., open Mon.–Sat., 6am–6pm; Sun., 7am–6pm, 523-2326

WHOLE FRUIT Mochi

Our velvety smooth, chewy Japanese rice cake has stood the test of time ever since its hand-pounded origin. We think we are familiar with its popular varieties: mochi ice cream, multi-colored chichi dango and bite-sized mochi toppings on yogurt. But don’t look now, folks, we have a brand new variety of mochi, and it just so happens to envelop a whole, fresh Maui Kula Country Farms strawberry. Made In Hawaii Foods prepares their newest treat with a thin layer of azuki bean snuggled between the berry and the mochi. Daily batches are limited, so prepared to be disappointed if you stop by later than 2 or 3 pm.

Made In Hawaii Foods, 2071-A S. Beretania St., open Tue.–Fri., 11am–5:30pm; Sat.–Sun., 11am–4pm, 947-9022; 98-718 Moanalua Rd. Ste. A18, Tue.–Fri., noon–5pm; Sat.–Sun., 10am–3pm, 484-0052, [madeinhawaiifoods.com]

CALL ME MACAROONI

In truth, Hawaii may be a tad behind on the not-so-new trend of French macaroons, manifested through cult followings in foodie cities from San Fran to Manhattan. But our leisurely pace here doesn’t mean we can’t do justice to the cookie of the moment. And La Tour Cafe has done all sweet-lovers a service by bringing us macaroons that will send you over the moon–dainty meringue confections that surround ethereally flavored fillings. Made fresh every day with all-natural ingredients, these macaroons are created with a surgeon general’s skills. Flavors come in seasonal waves, varying between red velvet, green tea, coffee, melona, this month’s pumpkin crunch and more.

$1.85 La Tour Cafe, 841 Bishop St. Ste. 103, open Mon.–Fri., 7:30am–4:40pm, 888-7476; 888 N. Nimitz Hwy. Ste. 101, open Sun.–Thu., 10am–9pm; Fri.–Sun., 10am–10pm, 697-5000

NOT YOUR FATHER’S JERKY

Once, you went Mainland for jerky. Then 7-Eleven. Now that you’re all grown up, you can chew deliciously and virtuously on the jerky of six independent, family-owned Maui cattle ranches who have come together as the Maui Cattle Company. Dad will savor that 100-percent grass-fed chaw (so will Maw). Available in original and peppered flavor, this not-so-cliche, yet wholesome jerky effortlessly elevates the cheap grab-and-go snack from gas station fare–just pure, no MSG, preservative-free sustenance.

$8.99 Maui Cattle Company, P.O. Box 331149, Kahului, Maui, 877-0044, [mauicattlecompany.com], available at Made In Hawaii Foods, 2071-A S. Beretania St.

Warm Honey Notes

No bustling, eye-rubbing, yawn-filled morning would be complete without the “Ahh” after that first steaming sip of coffee. Though Hawaii is no stranger to quality beans and cafes, Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe is a peak experience. Tucked away in Manoa valley, MGC+C is part neighborhood gathering place, part solitary getaway, part all-access-pass to the real liquid gold of these Isles. Roasted daily, the beans (Maui Mokka Peaberry or Isla Kona Maragogype) can be ordered in bulk or packaged on the spot. Both varieties are highly rated on Coffee Review. When it comes down to a personal cup, the difference between this and that green logo stuff is exceptional.

Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe, 2955 E. Manoa Rd., open Mon.–Sat. 7am–7pm; Sun. 7am–1pm, 673-0065

OUR STATE LIQUEUR

Declaring its brand to be the only 100-percent pure coffee liqueur in the world–which means sans extraneous flavorings such as vanilla and chocolate or corn syrup as a sweetener–Kona Gold Coffee Liqueur stands out in a field of novelties and cough syrup substitutes. Although bottled in California, the liqueur isn’t strictly made in Hawaii, but receives a non-contiguous state exemption. Unlike that old familiar Kahlua, which is sickly-sweet and coffee ”flavored,” Kona Gold forgoes the party-hardy-on-the-beach commercial approach and opts for the integrity of its certified Kona coffee beans.

Aloha Distillers Inc., 5 Sand Island Access Rd. Bldg. 929 Ste. 118, [konagold.net], 841-5787
Kona Gold Coffee Liqueur, available at The Liquor Collection, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd. Ste. 1200, 524-8808

DRESSING SALAD LOCALLY

With the abundance of tropical fruits that grow well in Hawaii’s climate, perfect for salad dressings and vinaigrettes, it’s always a bummer to see that heart attack-inducing ranch dressing on the table at potlucks and gatherings. Fortunately we now have Pupukea Gardens Farm to concoct the kind of fresh, locally grown papaya seed dressing that will banish the white death. With no preservatives, marketed under the brand name Hawaii’s Special, the dressing is zesty from Worcestershire sauce, sweetened with cane sugar and ever so piquant from mustard and spice. Varieties include original Papaya Seed Dressing, Reduced Fat, and Papaya Seed Vinaigrette.

$2.99/5.5 oz., $3.99/16 oz. Pupukea Gardens Farm, 59-433 Kawowo Rd., 256-3880, available at Don Quijote (Pearl City, Waipahu, Kailua), Safeway, Foodland, Times Market, Star Market, and Made In Hawaii Foods

Crimson CrystalS

Turns out, raw salt from the sea is not purely sodium chloride. Added minerals boost nutrient levels and the palate’s experience beyond the standard of table salt. Molokai “whole salt,” harvested in an age-old manner, contains around 80-percent scientific salt compounds, with the remaining percentage comprised of tasty goodness. Hawaii Kai Co. produces Palm Island Red Gold Sea Salt in Molokai, and aims to fuse tradition with technological advances. The Hawaiian alaea volcanic clay adds a distinct red tinge to the salt crystals, as well as an earthy taste that marries well with poke, barbecue, vegetables and just about everything else.

$5.99/6 oz. Hawaii Kai Co., 100 Ulili St., 858)652-4400 (headquarters in CA), available at Made In Hawaii Foods, 2071-A S. Beretania St.