A Cow’s Eye View
In the 1800s tracts of land throughout the Islands were given over to cattle ranches, which thrived in Hawaii’s mild climate.  However, unchecked grazing practices destroyed tens of thousands of acres of forest and watershed.  Then, changes in the economics of the industry favoring grain-fed beef, along with the dominance of other agricultural crops in Hawaii severely crippled ranching in Hawaii, and along with it, Island-raised beef.  
In the last decade, changes in our understanding of healthy food and ecosytems helped revive a few Hawaiian ranching operations that adopted best practices such as allow cattle to graze and forage on natural grasses in open, stress-free environments.  Maui Cattle Company is one such leader in ranching in Hawaii.  Working with a co-op of ranches surrounding Haleakala – some dating back to the 1880s - the beef produced by Maui Cattle Company is all-natural, grass fed beef that is “Born & Grazed” on beautiful Maui. With a view of the ocean and the island of Lanai, and cool mountain air from Haleakala, Maui Cattle Company cows have the ultimate “stress-free” environment.  
We’re happy to share Beef Jerky from Maui Cattle Company with our Makana subscribers this month.  Read more about this month’s Makana box here.

A Cow’s Eye View

In the 1800s tracts of land throughout the Islands were given over to cattle ranches, which thrived in Hawaii’s mild climate.  However, unchecked grazing practices destroyed tens of thousands of acres of forest and watershed.  Then, changes in the economics of the industry favoring grain-fed beef, along with the dominance of other agricultural crops in Hawaii severely crippled ranching in Hawaii, and along with it, Island-raised beef.  

In the last decade, changes in our understanding of healthy food and ecosytems helped revive a few Hawaiian ranching operations that adopted best practices such as allow cattle to graze and forage on natural grasses in open, stress-free environments.  Maui Cattle Company is one such leader in ranching in Hawaii.  Working with a co-op of ranches surrounding Haleakala – some dating back to the 1880s - the beef produced by Maui Cattle Company is all-natural, grass fed beef that is “Born & Grazed” on beautiful Maui. With a view of the ocean and the island of Lanai, and cool mountain air from Haleakala, Maui Cattle Company cows have the ultimate “stress-free” environment.  

We’re happy to share Beef Jerky from Maui Cattle Company with our Makana subscribers this month.  Read more about this month’s Makana box here.


Eating Purple

In Hawaii, there are two main families of sweet potatoes being grown and enjoyed: the Hawaiian varieties and the Okinawan varieties.  The Hawaiian varieties are considered “canoe plants,” brought to the islands by the first Polynesian voyagers over long distances.  In old Hawaiian culture, sweet potatoes were often referred to as a “famine food” because of the tuber’s amazing ability to survive in drought conditions.  

The Okinawan varieties were predominantly brought to Hawaii by the early waves of plantation laborers from Okinawa.  These varieties did particularly well because Hawaii’s climate is relatively similar to Okinawa’s climate.  

Though both Hawaiian and Okinawan varieties of sweet potato produce a wide color spectrum of leaves and tubers, the Okinawan variety is especially well-known for deep purple colored tubers.  The antioxidant known as anthocyanin is the pigment which is responsible for the brilliant purple color of the flesh. It is the same pigment that gives blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage their color. The Okinawan sweet potato actually has 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries!

This month’s Makana subscribers are enjoying some delicious, and beautifully purple sweet potato chips by Hilo’s own Atebara Chips that we sent in their Makana boxes.  Let every crunchy bite be a reminder that this is actually a healthy snack ;-) ! 


 Add a little drama with black pa‘akai

It is said that Hula originated on Molokai, and that many powerful Hawaiian sorcerers and healers came from Molokai.  One of the smaller Hawaiian islands, with dramatic sea cliffs on the north east side and very very long white beaches on the west side, Molokai is a truly special place. Itʻs no wonder that Molokai producers some of the worldʻs best salt.

The story goes that Madame Pele herself taught the Hawaiians to use pa’akai – the Hawaiian word for salt with the literal meaning “to solidify the sea” – to preserve foods and as a healing ingredient.  

This monthʻs Makana subscribers get a special treat in their boxes - some beautiful black pa‘akai from Molokai. We love this black sea salt from its dramatic color.  Chefs and gourmands love it for its rich and unique flavor.  Itʻs beautiful and delicious sprinkled on grilled pineapple slices – a simple and unique addition to any summer cookout!


The Throwback Chip…
This monthʻs Makana subscribers received a bit of small kid time nostalgia in their boxes.
Imagine growing up in HIlo-town in 1950.  Just a few years before, an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands near Alaska triggered a massive tsunami that leveled much of the oceanfront buildings of Hilo, and killing several students at the Laupahoehoe School, a ways outside of Hilo.  Declining production and modernization of sugar mills was met with labor organizing and strikes that affected the plantation-era communities of Hawaii Island. 
In the middle of all this, Koto Maebo, a housewife with eight children, started making and selling noodles and won ton pi (won ton wrappers) out of her garage.  Many came to buy her products, and he had all eight children helping her out.  As a treat for the children, she added a little sugar to the won ton pi and fried them up to make tasty little “chips” that themselves became a popular product in Kotoʻs production line.  Her husband, a salesman, gave the chips a fun, play-on-words name along with a logo of a strongman.  
To this day, Hilo-town retains its small-town charm.  The Mrs. Maeboʻs  One Ton Chips still carry the same name and same logo, using the same original recipe.  And also, the same family still runs the business - now headed up by Kotoʻs grandson, Blane, who oversees daily production of fresh noodles, won ton pi, and One Ton Chips from their factory off Kilauea Ave. in Hilo. 

The Throwback Chip…

This monthʻs Makana subscribers received a bit of small kid time nostalgia in their boxes.

Imagine growing up in HIlo-town in 1950.  Just a few years before, an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands near Alaska triggered a massive tsunami that leveled much of the oceanfront buildings of Hilo, and killing several students at the Laupahoehoe School, a ways outside of Hilo.  Declining production and modernization of sugar mills was met with labor organizing and strikes that affected the plantation-era communities of Hawaii Island. 

In the middle of all this, Koto Maebo, a housewife with eight children, started making and selling noodles and won ton pi (won ton wrappers) out of her garage.  Many came to buy her products, and he had all eight children helping her out.  As a treat for the children, she added a little sugar to the won ton pi and fried them up to make tasty little “chips” that themselves became a popular product in Kotoʻs production line.  Her husband, a salesman, gave the chips a fun, play-on-words name along with a logo of a strongman.  

To this day, Hilo-town retains its small-town charm.  The Mrs. Maeboʻs  One Ton Chips still carry the same name and same logo, using the same original recipe.  And also, the same family still runs the business - now headed up by Kotoʻs grandson, Blane, who oversees daily production of fresh noodles, won ton pi, and One Ton Chips from their factory off Kilauea Ave. in Hilo. 


Quick and easy breakfast w/ @bigislandbees

Quick and easy breakfast w/ @bigislandbees


Guava Jam for dinner?

In Hawaii, we have a real sweet-tooth for soft, pink guava.  Foraged straight from a wild tree, itʻs a great snack in the middle of a hike. We drink its juice cold from the can on a hot afternoon.  Itʻs the key ingredient in any guava chiffon cake.  In this monthʻs Makana subscribersʻ boxes, weʻve included a nice jar of Guava Jam - made by Maui Upcountry Jams and Jellies. Itʻs the perfect topping for a warm slice of Portuguese sweetbread.  But the real secret to guava is that it pairs perfectly with savory meat dishes.  Simmer a sauce with guava jam, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and water; then use as a glaze for pork or chicken. ‘Ono!


A bit about our favorite little flower

Native to Mexico and Central America, plumeria (commonly called Frangiapani, but also known as melia in Hawaiian) were propagated in tropical areas around the world.  They were brought to Hawaii by German physician William Hillebrand in 1860. The Common Yellow variety quickly became a familiar feature in yards and cemeteries – because of their early association with cemeteries, plumeria were not initially used for lei.  However, their bright white, pink and yellow blossoms, and distinct, soft scent made them irresistible; the negative associations were quickly shed. 

In this months Makana, weʻre sharing a fragrant, plumeria soap made by Hawaiian Bath and Body in their facility at the historic Waialua Sugar Mill on Oahuʻs North Shore. Here, Hawaiian Kukui and Macadamia nut oils are blended with pure essential oils for a naturally luxurious bar.


The Coconut Coast is Calling…

This monthʻs makana include a fragrant candle made by Kauaiʻs own Island Soap and Candle Works. The east shore of Kaua‘i is known as the Coconut Coast. This side of Kaua‘i was part of lands held by Kauaʻi’s last monarch, Queen Deborah Kapule.  When she passed in the late 1800s, a German businessman purchased some of the land and hoped to make money in coconut oil by planting thousands of coconut palms, which were imported from Samoa.  In the 1950s the Coco Palms resort opened nearby and was soon made famous by the Elvis Presley classic Blue Hawaii.  The resort was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Iniki (1992) and sat in disrepair is it changed ownership several times.  Today, while new owners work on plans to rebuild and restore the famous resort, coconut palm groves still thrive along the coastline of east Kauai.  


Hanalei-town Pit Stop

One of our favorite places to escape to is Hanalei, Kauai.  Deep green valleys, that end-of-the-road feeling, quiet beaches…. But before you head too far down the road, donʻt forgot to make a stop in Hanalei-town to visit Kauai Nut Roasters. 

This great little shop and nut roastery is another reason Hanalei is one of our favorite places to escape to.  Thereʻs nothing like the taste of fresh roasted nuts - and the Kauai Nut Roasters team makes them in so many great flavors - Sesame Flax Almonds, Maple Bacon Macademia Mix, Ginger Lilikoi Pecans, and our go-to, Li-Hing Pineapple Almonds.  Healthy almonds, the mouthwatering Li-Hing flavor, and bits of dried pineapple mixed in.   We always pick-up a bag as soon as we arrive in Hanalei for a perfect snack after a long drive; and usually, we donʻt leave without picking up several more to eat on the drive back to the airport and to give as omiyage gifts!


Traditional Hawaiian quilts are unlike any other quilts.  Like much of Hawaiiʻs material culture after western contact, what we know of today as Hawaiian quilts were born out of pre-contact kapa moe (sleeping cloths made of kapa), sewing and pattern-making techniques adapted during the missionary era (early 1800s), combined with the creativity of individual quilters.  

Patchwork methods and patterns were introduced to Hawaiian women by the missionaries.  However, in that era, Hawaiian women preferred designs that cut from a whole piece of cloth inspired by tapa patterns common before westerners came to the islands.  Hawaiian quilt designs are characterized by a full piece of material folded into a symmetrical 1/4 or 1/8 design (as if making a paper snowflake), cut, then laid out as a whole quilt to be appliquéd. Corners and borders may be designed separately. Radial stitching is the primary embellishment on Hawaiian quilts. Stories were told through symbolic flora, colors or other commonly understood, and simplified shapes.  Perhaps the most impressive characteristic of authentic Hawaiian quilts is that they are hand-made and hand-stitched - ensuring that each quilt tells a truly unique story. 

Today, one can find a large variety of Hawaiian-style quilts.  But many are often made with machine, sometimes in places far away from the Hawaiian Islands.  If youʻre looking for a true Hawaiian quilt - look carefully!  If youʻre interested in learning more about Hawaiian quilting, quilt patterns, or would to join a group to work on your own quilt, Poakalani & Co. is a fantastic hui of teachers and quilters that would be a great place to start!