Grindz of the Day: Spanish Rolls, Mele Kalima Pineapple, Poi Malasadas & Lilikoi Mochi

First up on this carbo’ load edition of “Grindz of the Day” are the simply amazing Spanish Rolls from Nanding’s Bakery

Nanding’s Bakery Spanish Rolls

Nanding’s Bakery Spanish Rolls

These are absolutely masarap-sarap (delicious! Ono! Oishii! You name it!), striking a fantastic balance between salty, sweet and buttery, in an albeit subtle way. Texture-wise, they’re somewhat light, yet glutenous, while encapsulating each and every bite is this dusted ‘n gritty, wonderfully toasted crust.

They’re at their best eaten warm or hot, so if you have them sitting around for a while, reheat them in a toaster oven before serving.

I seriously wanna’ try using these Spanish Rolls as a bun for a hot dog and/or hamburger, as I KNOW that gritty texture and subtly salty, sweet ‘n buttery flavor would TOTALLY compliment and kick-up the savory flavor of the meat.

Nanding’s Spanish Rolls. Love it! Nom-nom-no 5-SPAM Musubi “masarapcious”!

Next up are Poi Malasadas from Kamehameha Bakery in Kalihi…

Kamehameha Bakery Poi Malasadas

Overall, they’re more like doughnuts than Portuguese Malasadas, especially being that they’re glazed vs. dusted with granulated sugar. While you can certainly tell they have a taro flavor, it’s not as distinctive as the artificial purple color would have you think. It’s just a really, really good doughnut with a “twist” if you will.

Kamehameha Bakery Poi Malasadas

As with most of the other pastries at Kamehameha Bakery, these Poi Malasadas are winnahz and a highly recommended choice!

Moving on, we stop by KCC Farmers Market, where I came across these very exotic and intriguing “Mele Kalima” Honey Cream Pineapple…

“Mele Kalima” Honey Cream Pineapple

“Mele Kalima” Honey Cream Pineapple

“Mele Kalima” Honey Cream Pineapple

Notice that they’re distinctively black and gold in color, compared to typical pineapple, which are more green and yellow. Here’s all the details about it…

The’re also relatively pricey, with one whole Honey Cream Pineapple running about $25. I was actually willing to plunk down the cash for one, but I wanted to taste it first, however they were getting ready to pack up and gave out all the samples, so I’ll wait until another visit to KCCFM so I can try it first.

Finishing off today’s “Grindz of the Day” are some Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Mochi Diner E‘s wife made this past week…

Lilikoi Mochi

Lilikoi Mochi

While I’m not exactly crazy about mochi, these were pretty much as good as mochi gets, particularly in how pillow-soft ‘n glutenous they were, with the Lilikoi flavor being subtle, yet you could tell it’s there. I’ll give this one 2 SPAM Musubi, while she made Coconut Butter Mochi last week, which I give 5! Mo’ buttah, mo’ coconut, mo bettah!

P.S. Last Sunday I was driving past Diamond Head lookout, where I spotted the Google Maps Street View vehicle (a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV) parked there unattended, with the “Bond-like”‘ Dodeca 2360 rooftop camera mount folded down and covered up…

Google Maps Street View vehicle (Hyundai Santa Fe SUV) @ Diamond Head Lookout, Oahu, Hawaii, 2pm, August 14, 2011.

Google Maps Street View vehicle (Hyundai Santa Fe SUV) @ Diamond Head Lookout, Oahu, Hawaii, 2pm, August 14, 2011.

Google Maps Street View vehicle (Hyundai Santa Fe SUV) @ Diamond Head Lookout, Oahu, Hawaii, 2pm, August 14, 2011.

Google Maps Street View vehicle (Hyundai Santa Fe SUV) @ Diamond Head Lookout, Oahu, Hawaii, 2pm, August 14, 2011.

Google Maps Street View vehicle (Hyundai Santa Fe SUV) @ Diamond Head Lookout, Oahu, Hawaii, 2pm, August 14, 2011.

For more information about Google Maps Street View return to Hawaii, see this post at Google Street View Team Back in Honolulu [Updated]


Grindz of the Day: Spanish Rolls, Mele Kalima Pineapple, Poi Malasadas & Lilikoi Mochi — 15 Comments

  1. Do the poi malasadas have a taro taste or is it like poi rolls?… I’m intrigued since I’m a cake donut kinda guy and they look like cake donuts. Way back when in da day when every highschooler worked at the cannery, they had what was known as sugar pine. The flesh was an opaque off white and VERY SWEET with lower acid but they only came through the ginnaca (sp?) machine once every shift… probably a mutant regular pineapple.

  2. Ryan, I’d say more like poi rolls in a subtle way, similar in flavor profile to the ones served at Kaka’ako Kitchen, abeit with the texture of a (very good) donut. I have yet to try a pastry or baked good that genuinely “screams” with the unique flavor of taro, particularly of the Hawaiian wetland variety.

    Wow, you worked at Dole Cannery huh? Did you have the burnt arms from the citric acid in the pineapple like I hear many workers suffered with? I remember that AMAZING SMELL that wafted from the cannery when we drove by.

  3. Pomai, my cousins saw this entry from San Francisco and now want to try poi malasadas. As you used to work at Dole Cannery that great. My mom use to only for few days for the smell of pineapple which strange made her so sick could’nt handle it quit. She like pineapple but not strong oder of thing.

  4. OK, Pomai, I read and enjoy your blog. But, this time I really have to take issue with you, regarding the Kamehameha Bakery malassada having a typical poi flavor. Working nearby in Kalihi/like you, I have had/tried their malassada on numerous occasions when co-workers have brought morning “goodies” to share in the office. More than likely the earthy flavor you detect in that “goodie” is the result of old, burnt oil from their fryer. Typically, many local bakeries don’t even bother to put taro, or even poi in their baked products. If it’s dehydrated poi from Honolulu Poi Co., it’s a reclaimed product and will have no taste. If it’s really poi, then there has to be a lot of it, but it will affect the end result/softness of the product The bright purple color comes from a product they use, made by Master Chef, called violet color. If it’s left in the sunlight or under ultraviolet light, it will turn grey-green because it’s U.V. sensitive, made with #5 red dye and blue dye. You regularly document your Saturday KCC excursions, look at the KCC culinary school’s kalua pig slider and what that bun’s color looks like after being in the sun for 1 hr. If it is sold as a taro product, local inspectors need to verify that there is a taro product as an ingredient. It’s important that we all are being truthful to our local as well as visitor customer.

  5. Bakerboy, point taken. However I didn’t say anywhere in my description (or reply to Ryan) anything about the Poi Malasada tasting “earthy”, nor did I think it tasted burnt. It perhaps LOOKED burnt, having such a dark brown crust, which is probably from the sugar in the dough mixture caramelizing in the hot oil. That’s what makes deep-frying Okinawan Andagi properly to “GBD” a challenge as well.

    Speaking of reclaimed dehydrated poi, I did a complete review of the product here:

    Thanks for the info’ on the Master Chef food coloring. That’s probably the same stuff McDonald’s uses for their Taro Pie.

    I see your point about needing LOTS of poi in recipes in order to actually taste it when cooking with it. Even then, it’s often futile. Case in point is the “Hawaiian Chef”, an occasional vendor at KCC Farmers Market who makes Poi Battered Fish:
    The batter mixture is basically really thinned-down fresh poi (HPC Taro brand) mixed with Mochiko flour, paprika and garlic salt. Regardless of the batter being made with ratio in favor of Poi, once the batter gets deep-fried, it all but loses the flavor of the taro, where if you didn’t know it was a “Poi batter”, you wouldn’t have guessed that’s what it was made of. Thankfully they don’t put any of that artificial purple food coloring in it, as that would probably look NASTY after being deep fried!

    Check out these very creative recipes using Poi by retired teacher and big island food blogger, Sonia Martinez:

    I so need to try making them Orange Shells Stuffed with Poi. Sounds crazy!

    Oh, one last thing about poi, my grandmother used to use it to thicken beef stew. Of course nowadays poi is too expensive to do that! “Poho”!

    Amy, I didn’t work at Dole Cannery, Ryan did.

  6. You know, I was raised on taro. And we had poi, but mostly taro. Boiled, then chilled. Then when needed my mother would cut and fry in butter and salt. That was the starch. Sometimes just boiled and mashed like a potato. Sometimes fried like hash. We loved it. Poi was only for luau. Spoiled to quick.
    We did not grow our own taro. On Kauai was all Lehua in old days. Flowing water needed.
    We did grow potatoes, beans, soybeans, peanuts, cabbage, Manoa lettuce, eggplant, corn (wasn’t as sweet back then), more beans, eggplant, both types, spices, fruit, and odd vegetables such as mom wished.

  7. I’ve never seen “Mele Kalima” Honey Cream Pineapple before but about $25 per fruit is ridiculous?! I noticed that the pineapples pictured have the crowns cut off of them preventing people from planting them. I have about 25 pineapple plants growing right now and this year’s harvest was really good. It takes so long to produce a fruit usually over a year and four months. I’ve learned how to produce pineapple all year long
    Then I go to Costco and I see pineapple for sale for $2.50 / a piece. It’s a labor of love and hobby for me. Please let us know how those “Mele Kalima” Honey Cream Pineappe taste!

    I saw the Google car here in Kahala a couple of weeks ago. They weren’t too receptive to my questions nor did they appreciate me trying to take pictures of them. LOL!

  8. I’ve tasted the Mele Kalima pineapple at the farmer’s market before and have to admit that it’s probably hands down the sweetest and maybe the best pineapple I’ve ever tasted. With that being said, $25/fruit is an absolutely insane price point to an unassuming public.

  9. Milo… so the Google Maps team didn’t like you invading their privacy?! Pfft. Some parts of town, they should feel lucky to get out in one piece. Maybe you should give ’em a dose of their own medicine…. follow ’em into the bathroom with a camera on their next potty break. LOL

  10. Marcus, good point. I’d sure be taken aback if the Google driver acted that way. I hear they’re less than welcome in many asian countries, particularly Japan, because of the privacy issue. However, in other places they’re probably treated like celebrities, especially where people look for any chance at their “15 seconds of fame”, even if it’s “just” on Google Earth thorugh the lens of the Street View car. lol

    Milo and MillVillFlip, I find lots of vendors at the KCC Farmers Market inflating their prices to ridiculous levels, which I take are because of the high percentage of Japanese tourist at that particular venue, who are particularly “unassuming”.

    Milo, thanks for pointing out that the crowns were removed so the end consumer can’t grow their own. I didn’t even think about that I also wasn’t aware it took so long for pineapple to grow, then incredibly, get sold at the market for so cheap.

    I’d like to try a Pina Colada made with this stuff.

    Pat, my late grandma used to steam the taro, then put butter and salt on it. Ono!

    Now a taro hash sounds interesting! Mixed with corned beef? Gotta’ try it!

    That’s one thing I notice, is poi doesn’t get sour like it used to. Could the taro HPC is sourcing from now be genetically modified? There’s a big fuss about UH’s GMO taro program.

  11. Pomai, Corn beef works, but more common is left over beef roast, pork roast or kalua pig for taro or Hawaiian (yellow) sweet potato hash. Just remember to cut the meat to same size as the vegetable (s).

  12. $25 for a fruit is expensive but in Japan you can pay up to $100 for one melon! I haven’t tasted it because I can’t see myself spending that much, but from what I heard it is the best melon you will ever taste. They even have huge grapes that are the sweetest you’ll ever have, but are also past the common price point just for fruit!

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