Not Just Pupus, Poi and Pineapple – Hawaii Has Salts too!

CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY MUSIC


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‘sTiny Bubbles“. What’s not to like about Paradise?

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1996 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1996 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

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”.

Mai Tai (Photo Credit:  www.en.wikipedia.org)

Mai Tai (Photo Credit: http://www.en.wikipedia.org)

Leeward Coast, Oahu, Hawaii, 1996 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Leeward Coast, Oahu, Hawaii, 1996 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

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.

North Central Oahu, Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

North Central Oahu, Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

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.

Sunset on the Kona Coast, "Big Island" (Hawaii), Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Sunset on the Kona Coast, “Big Island” (Hawaii), Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)


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?
Dole Pineapple Plantation, Oahu, Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Dole Pineapple Plantation, Oahu, Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

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).
Haunauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Haunauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)


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.
Alaea Sea Salt

Alaea Sea Salt

Alaea Sea Salt, White Silver Sea Salt, Black Lava Sea Salt, Red Gold Sea Salt

Alaea Sea Salt, White Silver Sea Salt, Black Lava Sea Salt, Red Gold Sea Salt

There may be other distributors for similar products, as well.
Na Pali Coast, Oahu, Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Na Pali Coast, Oahu, Hawaii, 1974 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

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.

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1996 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1996 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)


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.
White Silver Sea Salt

White Silver Sea Salt


Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1996 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1996 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

Black Lava Sea Salt

Black Lava Sea Salt

Red Gold Sea Salt

Red Gold Sea Salt


Try some of these delicious Hawaiian sea salts! A little goes a long way, so experiment. Oli oli kou aina! (Enjoy your meal/food)

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About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 5,851. What next? More cookbooks, naturally (small ones !)
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