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Music – “Tiny Bubbles & Pearly Shells Medley” from Hawaii Experience by Don Ho. Released: 2010
Ah, Hawaii….miles of white sand, black sand, green sand, magnificent sunsets, fragrant leis, lush tropical plants, rainbows and enough Mai-Tai’s to sink a ship, not to mention the musical stylings of the late Don Ho‘s “Tiny Bubbles“. What’s not to like about Paradise?
Having family living in Hawaii is also a bonus, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the islands many times, each time greeted with loads of sweet plumeria and jasmine leis. Every tropical drink sports a fresh orchid and there are plenty of tropical drinks to choose from, including the legendary “Mai-Tai”.You might also be adventurous and try a Paddler’s Passion, Lava Flow, Hula Girl, Big Kahuna, Torch Lighter or the Missionary’s Downfall (wonder how that one got its name!).
Like any other American city, you can feast on just about anything you desire in Honolulu, where my relatives live. Honolulu, Oahu is a pretty cosmopolitan city about a million miles from the rest of “civilization”, or as the natives say, “the mainland”, a slightly derogatory term for those of us poor “malihini” who don’t go out our front door in the morning to pick up the paper and a couple of papayas at the same time.
In the 1960’s, Hawaiian parties were all the rage, and my folks staged more than one. They even converted one of our basement storage rooms into a “Hawaiian Room”, complete with a lava rock waterfall and a full wall mural featuring Diamond Head, painted by an artist neighbour of ours. Rattan was the theme, even to the bar with a thatched roof. Many a raucous group was hosted there over the years and my Dad was a master of the Mai Tai.
Booklets published by the likes of Dole Pineapple at that time suggested the “typical” island menu, with Fruit Punch, Lomi Salmon, Chicken Luau and Fresh Pineapple. Pretty authentic, right? Of course, you had to have a few plastic leis for your guests, which you bought from Kresge’s Five and Dime, and a plastic tablecloth with palm trees painted on it. Then, you could be properly prepared for Hoolaulea (merry-making).
Only in recent years have I become aware of the many different salts mined around the globe, and in experimenting with them, I located four sea salts from Hawaii: White Silver Sea Salt, Black Lava Sea Salt and Red Gold Sea Salt are products I found, from Palm Island and the Alaea Sea Salt I located was produced by Grandfather’s Salt, Inc. There may be other distributors for similar products, as well.
Alaea salt is heavy in trace minerals, found in sea water. In addition, a small amount of ‘Alae’, a reddish coloured Hawaiian clay, enriches the salt with iron oxides. Alaea salt was traditionally used by Hawaiians in ceremonies, as well as healing rituals.
White Silver Sea Salt is very moist and flavourful. Black Lava Sea Salt is striking in contrast to light coloured dishes you might sprinkle it on for finishing and Palm Island bonds White Silver Sea Salt with quality activated charcoal to produce Black Lava Sea Salt, which is delightful in taste and looks. Red Gold Sea Salt from Palm Island adds red Alaea Sea Salt to White Silver through bonding, to produce a lovely red gold colour and a “zesty” flavour.
Try some of these delicious Hawaiian sea salts! A little goes a long way, so experiment. Oli oli kou aina! (Enjoy your meal/food)