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“Best of Hawaii” 2009: Our favorite Hawaii snacks

best_of_Hawaii_favorite_snack_foodGot the munchies? Need a snack?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing excerpts from HAWAII Magazine’s annual “Best of Hawaii” issue, on sale now at bookstores and newsstands nationwide. Grab a copy and you’ll find it loaded with tips and suggestions for finding the best of just about everything in the Islands—all of this advice courtesy of our always well-informed HAWAII Magazine reader ohana and our own island-hopping editorial team.

Here on HawaiiMagazine.com, we’ve shared picks straight out of the Sept./Oct. 2009 “Best of Hawaii” issue of our favorite Hawaii places to shop, and favorite Hawaii road trips. After much driving and rampant consumerism, we figured it was high time for a snack.

So here are a few picks from one of the categories our editorial staff had the most fun writing up and, uh, researching (with one pick from HAWAII readers tossed in for good measure): HAWAII Magazines’s Favorite Hawaii Snacks and our Favorite Places to get ‘em:

Just click to the next page and dig in!


A tsunami watch for the Hawaiian Islands has been lifted, but beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii will be closed today.

The state of Hawaii was briefly under a tsunami watch this morning after a magnitude 8.3 undersea earthquake occurred off of the islands of Samoa.

Samoa_quake_Hawaii_tsunami_watchThe Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu issued the tsunami watch at 8:05 a.m. (Hawaii time), while determining whether there was a threat of a destructive wave striking Hawaii. The United States Geological Survey said that the Samoa earthquake occurred 20 miles below the ocean floor at 6:48 a.m. (7:48 a.m., Hawaii time), 125 miles from Samoa and 120 miles from American Samoa.

The islands of Samoa are 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii.

The tsunami watch for Hawaii was canceled at 10:23 a.m., and downgraded to an advisory. An advisory means a tsunami is not expected, but swimmers and boaters should watch for powerful surges and/or rip currents.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center officials said a 2- to 3-foot surge could still affect Hawaii’s coastal areas between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., but there would be no need for evacuations.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials issued a statement at 10:30 a.m. this morning saying that, as a precaution, all Big Island of Hawaii beaches would be closed until Wednesday morning. Beaches on all other Hawaii islands remain open, but caution is advised.
Graphic of Samoa-generated Pacific Ocean tsunami travel times: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
raise_funds_royal_hawaii_palacesOn Oahu this Saturday? Curious about the history of Hawaii’s monarchy? Want to eat, drink and be cultured—all for a good cause?

Here's an event you won't want to miss.

A “Day at Queen Emma Summer Palace” is Daughters of Hawaii’s annual fundraiser for the restoration of Queen Emma Summer Palace in Honolulu and Hulihee Palace in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The event takes place this Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Queen Emma Summer Palace in Nuuanu Valley.

Admission is $6 for adults and $1 for children. The event is open to the public.

Chef and poke master Elmer Guzman of Hawaii seafood restaurant Poke Stop will on hand, preparing culinary creations. You'll find poi pounding, kapa making, quilting and feather lei making demonstrations. Baked goods, crafts, haku lei and Hawaiian plants will also be on sale.

Dukes_Hula_PieA HAWAII Magazine reader asks via email:

We had the Hula Pie at Duke’s. Would you have the recipe?

You ask. We answer.

Hula Pie has been a longtime staple of TS Restaurants (which owns five eateries in the Islands, including the popular oceanside Duke’s Canoe Club Waikiki.) It’s a favorite dessert with Island visitors; so much so that the TS Web site devotes a whole page to how to eat a slice. (Hint: try a fork.)

The recipe (and reader question) became a subject of fascination for our always-inquisitive HAWAII Magazine team, especially when the staff at Duke’s didn't return repeated phone calls on the subject. (Update: They've finally promised us the recipe, but it hasn't arrived yet. We'll share it when we get it.)

Perhaps no one wants you to know just how simple a concoction Hula Pie is. There's no baking, and you can find most of the ingredients ready made: chocolate cookie pie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, chopped mac nuts.

Once you pile all this stuff dizzily high, however, the Hula Pie turns into a mountain of pure dessert indulgence that impresses the heartiest of eaters.

On the next page is our recipe, which we think is identical to the “real” thing.  Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.

Hawaii_volcanoes_Ken_Burns_National_Parks_HaleakalaHawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island and Haleakala National Park on Maui both figure prominently in director Ken Burns’ latest super-documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

The 6-part, 12-hour documentary series on the grand, arduous and often contentious history of America’s national park system premieres on PBS, Sept. 27, with episodes airing nightly until Oct. 2.

National Parks
narrative begins with the mid-1800s beginnings of the national park idea, charting the evolution of the national park system over 150 years to 1980. The series first episode, "The Scripture of Nature (1851-1890)" digs into Hawaii's parks right away, opening with crisp footage of glowing Kilauea volcano lava flows entering the sea off the Puna coastline just before sunrise.

But a segment in the series’ third episode, “The Empire of Grandeur (1915-1919),” goes deeper into our state's national park history, revealing the decade of lobbying by naturalists, scientists, businessmen and others to designate acreage on Kilauea, Mauna Loa and Haleakala volcanoes as Hawaii National Park.

The massive park on Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii—later divided into two separate national parks—finally got its national park title on Aug. 1, 1916. Still, even its brand new title couldn't win Hawaii National Park any immediate respect. According to National Parks, Congress initially refused to provide any funding for Hawaii National Park because, as one senator explained, “It should not cost anything to run a volcano.”

Hawaii_museum_admission_free_day_SmithsonianMuseum junkies, make your Saturday plans now.

Thirteen Hawaii museums will be offering free admission this Saturday, Sept. 26—we'll let you know what you'll need to do to get in. It’s all part of Smithsonian Magazine’s fifth annual Museum Day, an annual celebration of the cultural and educational significance of nationwide museums to their communities.

More than 1,000 museums nationwide are participating in the daylong event. It'll also be a great day for museums and museum enthusiasts—sure to raise the public profile of museums across the U.S., many of which have taken a hit in visitor numbers and operating budgets due to the sluggish economy.

A list of participating Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day venues statewide follows on this page and the next:

Hawaii_museum_admission_free_day_SmithsonianBig Island of Hawaii

Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Hilo (pictured, right)


Bailey House Museum, Wailuku

Baldwin Home Museum, Lahaina

Wo Hing Museum, Lahaina


Hawaii_food_restaurants_locals_eatWhere do Hawaii residents eat?

Back in June, HawaiiMagazine.com readers salivated over an excerpt we shared from our HAWAII Magazine feature Discovering Hawaii Through Food—an island-hopping food travelogue compiled by our intrepid editor John Heckathorn. John's mission? Sharing some of the small places to eat and food sources that only Hawaii residents know about.

A few of you e-mailed us that were hungry for more, so we’ve got more for you.

Here’s part two of our excerpts from John’s Discovering Hawaii Through Food notes: more local favorite eats and food sources he found on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii.

Missed part one? No worries. You can still check it out by clicking here.

But if you’re ready—and hungry—let’s dig in for more!


Side Street Inn

We once walked into Side Street to find TV chef Anthony Bourdain in one of the booths. Colin Nishida’s unpretentious neighborhood bar is the choice of many Hawaii chefs and just plain folks because of its extensive, reasonably priced menu full of great local flavors. Do not miss the pork chops and fried rice.
1225 Hopaka St., (808) 591-0253.

PacifiKool On the Beach
PacifiKool became famous in Hawaii for drinks made from fresh ginger syrups. The company now sells bottled syrups, which are hard to take home because they have to stay refrigerated, but you can taste the zingy creations at PacifiKool’s Waikiki beach stand. Try the ginger cooler: a ginger ale with muddled basil leaves and lemon.
Waikiki Shore Condominium, 2161 Kalia Road, (808) 921-0099. You’ll also find PacifiKool at the Hawaii Farm Bureau’s Saturday Farmers’ Market at Kapiolani Community College.

Mauna_Kea_Beach_Hotel_500_creditAdd the Big Island of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Beach Hotel to the list of luxe South Kohala Coast resorts offering ever-popular resort credits.

The newly-renovated resort’s “Legacy $500” promotion is rewarding guests with a $500 resort credit for every three nights of their stay. The credit may be used for activities such as the resort’s full-service spa, rounds of golf at its Mauna Kea course and dining at all property restaurants.

In a down economy, resort credits are becoming the must-have guest perk even among the South Kohala Coast’s high-end lodging properties. Down the coast, the Four Seasons Hualalai recently extended a $1,000 resort credit promotion—originally limited to August and September stays—to reservations made through December 17, 2009. Meanwhile, the uber-secluded Kona Village Resort extended a pre-summer $800 airfare credit promotion indefinitely, though it now applies to guests staying five nights or more.

How to qualify for the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s $500 resort credit? Just book a three-night stay from now until December 22, 2009 in the resort’s Golf Vista room category or higher. The $500 credit is not applicable toward room rates, nor can it be combined with any other deal.

Mauna_Kea_Beach_Hotel_500_creditThe best part of the deal?  The longer you stay, the more credit you get. Credits are awarded based on three-night increments. So a six-night stay gets a $1000 credit, nine nights gets $1,500, and so on.

To use the credit, guests must sign all charges to their room. The credit will be deducted from the final tab upon check out. You’ll want to make sure you use the entire credit, as well, since none of it will be refunded or carried over to future stays.

For reservations or more information click here, or call (866) 977-4589

Photos: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Aloha_Festivals_Hawaii_parade_2009_scheduleThe 63rd annual Aloha Festival's two most-popular events are coming up on two Saturdays—tonight and Sept. 26. If you’re on Oahu—especially if you’re staying in Waikiki—you’ll want to save check both of them out:

• Sept. 19, 7 p.m. — The Aloha Festivals Waikiki Ho‘olaulea (celebration) takes over Waikiki’s main drag Kalakaua Avenue (between Lewers and Kapahulu Avenues), with hula performances, live music stages and food and lei booths spread along 12 blocks. The massive block party is always a great night in Waikiki.

• Sept. 26, 9 a.m. — The Aloha Festivals Floral Parade offers folks staying in Waikiki the best curbside spots for viewing. It's likely the most colorful parade you’ll ever see, too, with its procession of equestrian riders, hula halau (groups), marching bands and, most famously, its large floats lavishly decorated with Hawaii flowers. The parade starts at Ala Moana Park on Kapiolani Boulevard before turning onto Kalakaua Avenue, and ending at Kapiolani Park.

The Aloha Festivals was originally created in 1946 to mimic the Makahiki celebration season (Hawaiian New Year), which honored the Hawaiian god Lono.

At its 1940s inception, the festival was called Aloha Week—a volunteer observation of Hawaiian culture, that even then featured a floral parade through the streets of Honolulu and Waikiki as its highlight. As more events were added to its schedule, Aloha Week’s seven days proved too few. It was renamed the Aloha Festivals in 1991—a name more fitting for what was then a two-month, six-island celebration, with more than a hundred events.

Sadly, Aloha Festivals events since last year have mostly been limited to Oahu due to a downturn in funding. Even the much beloved Aloha Festivals Floral Parade was in danger of cancellation in 2008 until funding from the City & County of Honolulu and private donors eventually saved it.

Aloha Festivals events are again fewer this year, but the parade and ho‘olaulea go on.

For a complete schedule of 2009 Aloha Festivals events and more info, visit www.alohafestivals.com, or call (808) 391-8714.

Photo: Aloha Festivals
On Oahu this weekend and jonesing to see a cadre of Air Force jets fly within inches of each other at speeds of 400 mph? You’re in luck. The Thunderbirds are coming to town.

The celebrated military air demonstration squad will take to the skies above Oahu’s Hickam Air Force Base on Saturday and Sunday for the base’s “Wings Over the Pacific” open house.

Hickam Air Force Base will be open to the general public for this weekend’s festivities. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. on both days. Admission, and on-base parking, is free. However, Hickam officials suggest arriving early, as space will likely be limited.

The Thunderbirds attract serious crowds wherever they perform. The squadron tours the U.S. and world regularly, performing precision aerobatic formations and daredevil solo flights—similar to the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, but in special U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon jets.

The Thunderbirds last soared through Hawaii’s skies in September 2007—that time, tearing over metropolitan Honolulu and performing aerobatics over waters off of Waikiki. Oahu will be the Thunderbirds’ final American stop before embarking upon a month-long tour of Asia.

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