Da Kine


POSTED: Wednesday, December 17, 2008


New holiday treats add bite to local favorites

Of all the tastes of home available for holiday giving or setting out at pupu parties, these two are the newest, hottest and sweetest. Both are available at Don Quixote and Longs Drug stores, Marukai and the Navy Exchange:

Sweet Heat: Island Princess takes the chocolate-mac nut up a notch, coating it first in a five-spice cookie, then a candy shell, then covering it all in a dusting of “;exotic spices.”; A bite is at the same time sweet, spicy-hot and crunchy. It's the best mac-nut advancement in years. The nuts come in 10-ounce bags ($7.99 to $10.99) and 32-ounce jars ($10 to $16.49).

Pineapple Kettle Corn: From the Hawaii Popcorn Co., which brought us microwaveable Hurricane Popcorn packs. Because it's kettle corn, it's sweet, and because it's pineapple, it's got that local touch. Plain kettle corn also is available. They come in gift totes carrying six bags (about $9) and a 10-pack acrylic box ($12.49).



Down to Earth ranks among best

Down to Earth's all-vegetarian-all-the-time grocery store approach has drawn some shine from the magazine Vegetarian Times.

In its January issue, the Times picks Down to Earth as No. 3 on its “;Veg 25”; 2009 list of “;fresh voices, ingenious products and handy resources that make the vegetarian life more fulfilling every day.”;

The 30-year-old Down to Earth, Hawaii's first and largest natural foods chain, is lauded for its selection of foods free of meat, fish oils, gelatin and animal rennet — as well as for its nutrition and cooking classes and commitment to local organic farmers.

No. 1 on the list: Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss vegan ice cream — dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free.


'The Island Bistro' in limited release

Chef Chai Chaowasaree has published a cookbook, “;The Island Bistro,”; a collection of more than 90 recipes from his restaurants, Chai's Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine.

The book will be in general release next month, but 200 copies have been delivered to Borders Books & Music stores statewide for holiday sales.

The recipes include Thai favorites as well as Hawaii Regional Cuisine dishes that fuse the fresh produce of Hawaii with Asian influences.

Many of Chaowasaree's signature dishes are featured, including his Butternut Squash Bisque, Pad Thai Noodles with Crab Claws, and Kataifi and Macadamia Nut-Crusted Black Tiger Prawns.

Chaowasaree, a founding member of the Hawaiian Island Chefs, also hosts the television show “;Dining Out with Chai.”;

“;The Island Bistro Cookbook”; (Watermark Publishing, $32.50) can be ordered from the publisher at