going island, what kine omiyage?
This question was inspired by the unique foods thread in general chowhounding topics. I have to go big island next month, I don't know what to bring these days. In the old days those of us from Oahu used to have to bring Manapua with us whenever we went to one of the neighbor islands. If you knew other people were bringing manapua then you might bring along some coco puffs from Liliha Bakery. Coming back from the big island you would have to bring stone cookies from volcano, or in more recent years something from big island candies. From Maui either Maui potato chips or manju. Molokai, something from Kanemitsu's bakery. For each island there were special goodies. Coming back from the mainland you had to bring something too. One time as a joke I brought back Kings Sweet Bread from LA, that was shortly after King's closed here on Oahu.
It surprises me that even now it's hard to find good manju on oahu, and manapua is still hard to find on the neighbor islands. So when you go holo-holo these days, what do you bring for omiyage? What do you bring back from the neighbor islands?
For me, a must bring home is Tasaka's Guri Guri from Kahului, Maui. My mother remembers eating this icy treat as a child back in the 1920's, I think she said it was $.05 per serving back then. If you've never tried it, it's kind of a cross between ice cream and sherbet, in strawberry and pineapple flavors. It used to come with azuki beans many years ago, but no longer.
If you want to bring this home, they come in freezer packs for traveling, but you need to reserve them in advance. Last time I made the mistake of just walking in to buy some on the way to the airport. There was an entire freezer filled with them, all reserved for that day, so I came home very disappointed.
When I go Honolulu from Kauai, I like to bring a lilikoi chiffon pie from Hamura's or Wong's or manju from Lawai. I have brought Kauai cookies or Po's cookies when I had nothing else, but that's a back up plan. I might bring Kauai Chocolate Opihi's when I go this month. But the lilikoi chiffon pie is always a hit. When people bring me omiyage or bring it to my hotel, the most popular are Krispy Kreme from Maui and manapua from Oahu. People bring coco puffs, malasadas, big island cookies, cookie corner cookies and beard papas.