Last weekend I spent the day on Maui for a big event for work. Being at the airport at 6:15 made for a terribly early wake-up call, but the day went well and we served kale salad, pasta salad, and vegan summer rolls to the masses of tourists and residents in Kihei for the Pacific Whale Foundation’s annual World Whale Day.
We had some time before our late flight and headed to one of my favorite spots on the planet (no, REALLY!): Mana Foods in Paia, Maui. This teeny store is a equal parts hippie hangout and gourmet foodie heaven, and it’s ground zero for the Maui food scene. They’ve been around for decades (and apparently don’t pay any rent!) so their prices are awesome and their wide variety of food, wellness, bulk, and homemade items is unparalleled. Their produce section features the best of Maui farms and awesome imports too.
My purchase included some really fun stuff that can’t be found here on our island of Oahu: bamboo infused rice from Lotus Foods, my favorite high-quality umeboshi paste, barley miso, fair-trade African Shea butter, Mana-made granola, and some cool red palm oil that I’ve been wanting to try. The rice will likely be served with veggies and tofu, the umeboshi paste with veggie sushi rolls and for my favorite healing tea, barley miso for hearty winter miso soups, the shea butter for smoothing out my skin (it smells like warm cacao, vanilla and sandalwood; lovely!), and the red palm oil for grilling, sauteing, and more.
Stay tuned for more recipes and information featuring all of these cool new products. Surely they are all worth their own blog post, right?