A few days ago we skipped a few chilly days of Calgary and explored the tropical weather of Hawaii. During that one peaceful week, most of my social media posts were drafted while enjoying the cool breeze on the shores of #waikiki. While my kids were enjoying water I felt relaxed by witnessing the creations around me – palm trees, white sand, aqua waters, marine life, breaching of whales a few thousand feet from me, sun sets, family fun times- a scene comparable to serenity! All this made me realize how just by changing the scenery I was feeling fresh, rejuvenated and ready to face the winter wonderland again! This change was necessary for both my mental and physical health! This plan wasn’t initiated by me and when this was in discussion I felt I don’t have time to take this break – had to cancel orders, postpone a few things which were supposed to be done but I’m glad things worked out and we went ahead!
I have a severe sweet tooth issue and can’t survive a day without a proper dose of sweets. Obviously my vacations are the same. I can live without proper meals but can’t pass a day without fulfilling these sugar intake problems! I have to be surrounded with sweets and desserts in order to function like a sane human being.
While preparing for the trip, I made a list of things which I had to eat (all the dessert and sweet places) and my husband is the complete opposite and listed all the savoury places. In a way, it becomes beneficial for our family as we get to try all the sweet and savoury specialities of the area. I’ll share my side of the journey with you guys in this post.
- Honolulu Cookie Company
The first on my list was to try and get a hand on the world famous Honolulu cookies. Since I started making cookies myself I always wanted to get hold of a recipe that would be similar to these short bread cookies but I guess I had to try them first hand in one of the stores to know what I was missing! Yes these are the best hand crafted cookies I’ve ever had.
Soft from outside, very light in texture and fully rich in flavour – indeed one of its own kind! These come in many flavours but only in one shape “pineapple”. Interestingly pineapple is also an ambassador to the Hawaiian spirit of hospitality and everyone was greeted with “Aloha” as they enter the shop! A must visit place for anyone travelling to Hawaii.
Another healthy and a big hit dessert with our family was Banán. Banan as the name indicates was a soft-serve-like dessert made from one thing: frozen local grown bananas.
The frozen bananas were processed into a super thick scoop-able smoothie without adding any sugar and dairy – just creamy scoops of frozen bananas. We ordered a papaya boat from one of the stalls located near #waikikibeach.This had a layer of fresh fruits including strawberries, pineapple and bananas, puffed quinoa and unsweetened coconut flakes topped off with a swirl of frozen bananas.
Imagine we were able to satisfy a craving while being healthy, caring for the earth and supporting local Hawaii farmers. Available in many flavours!
I’ve been quite lucky to taste a variety of fusion desserts on this trip. Another thing which my taste buds craved for was to taste “Malasadas” from Leonard’s Bakery. Malasadas are basically a Portuguese confection but are quite similar to doughnuts.
I felt they had a similar taste as our timbits from Timhorton except they had fillings in it. Available in a couple of flavours – top sellers included plain sugar ones, cinnamon, vanilla (with a custard filling) and Dobash (chocolate filling). They were liked by everyone in my family as it catered to everyone’s flavour requirements. I was only short of my perfect hot chai to go with this warm dessert.
While not as well recognized as Japanese food fusion on the island, Portuguese on the islands have made a lasting impact on Hawaiian food with this one sweet fried dough “the malasada.”
- Matsumoto Shave Ice
After spending a day at Oahu’s north shore, our sweet cravings were answered by visiting another well known place in the area Matsumoto Shave Ice. Yes another shave ice, but this place is famous for Ichiban special in an earth-friendly edible bowl. The edible bowl was comparable to a Japanese rice cracker.
This bowl had shave ice with a scoop of icecream, azuki beans, mochi on the side and condensed milk on the top. Love the diverse flavour of this Japanese cum Haiwaiin dessert. This desert was a serious treat for us as we had never tried this kind of varying yet similar flavours together in one bowl. A must try for anyone visiting #northoahu!
The idea of edible bowl especially intrigued me and on discussion with the owner understood how he was helping with the reduction of waste products by introducing edible bowl and being eco friendly.
- Kokonuts Shave ice & snacks
Shave ice is very common in all the streets of Hawaii and Oahu. Obama and I share the same taste buds which I discovered being in Oahu. Kokonuts Shave Ice & Snacks was on my list as a few high profile people like Obama and Ben Affleck had visited and we wanted to see what was so special about it! Glad we checked it out as this was one of the best shave icecream in Oahu. I ordered the same flavour as Obama’s and had no regrets! Never tried cherry and lime together but the twisted sweet n sour flavour depicted how well Obama handled his politics with the his own twist! Glad I have something in common with the Ex president and not the current one.
Another must visit shave ice place was Waiola. There ice-cream was just ok but their flavours for shave ice were very unique. It was a 15 min drive from Waikiki so if you happen to be near that place, do hop over to try their specialities too.
- Pineapple Heaven
Hawaii is all about best sceneries, gorgeous landscapes and epic vistas that are great for hiking. There is no other way to discover the beauty of the island than to do some amazing hikes in the area. We being a family of four with two young kids decided to do a few of the kid friendly hikes. The Diamond Head Trail was one of them and the hike was incredibly steep and strenuous with rocky trails. Had to pass a long dark dingy out of a movie scene tunnel that had no lighting. Reached the highest point by climbing 99 stairs and witnessing the best panoramic views of Honolulu. It took us almost an hour to reach the top with few short breaks but coming down was a piece of cake. Maybe we were too excited to drink something that we had decided while going up or maybe the downward hill made our returning hike very comfortable. Kids kept discussing the spiral staircase, unpaved paths and in less than 30 minutes we were greeted with one of the best pineapple smoothies one can imagine!
Fresh pineapple juice was perfect to restore our energies. My body and soul were both thankful for doing this drinking act! The refreshing drink had water, ice and fresh pineapple. This compensated the lost energy with no artificial sugar. Sometimes life throws melons in your face with difficult hikes but then sweet pineapples come to rescue turning it into a happy ending!