Ever go shopping at Costco or Sam’s, and see a food product you’re curious about, wishing the sample lady or gentlemen will one day be handing some out for tasting? One of those try before you buy “want” not “need” products?
While I always have oatmeal or some type of “nutty” cereal on-hand in my pantry, Anahola Granola is one of those products that always grabs my attention in the aisles at Costco. “Hmmm, I wonder?”
Ironically without ever telling her my interest, as it turns out, Diner C bought some the other day, showing up to work this morning announcing, “Hey Pomai, wanna’ try some Anahola Granola?” Well, YES! Yes, I do!
While Anahola Granola is now manufactured (still by hand) in Hanapepe on the south-west side of Kauai, after moving from Washington state, company founder Becky’s first home on the Garden Isle was deep in Anahola Valley on the opposite side of the island. This is where Becky first began her island journey sharing her delicious granola with the folks of Kauai. So the name is legitimate, and not just chosen for its catchy rhyme.
As an FYI, Anahola is a quiet Hawaiian Homestead town made up predominantly of native Hawaiians, located on the north-east side of Kauai. As you drive from the bustling town of Kapa’a, past Wailua, on your way to Hanalei, you’ll come across Anahola, where it’s now becoming a popular weekend stop by both tourists and locals for their increasingly popular Anahola Hawaiian Land Farmers Market.
This photo of Anahola Hawaiian Land Farmer’s Market is courtesy of TripAdvisor
According to Anahola Granola’s website, “All of our products are made with the highest quality ingredients, with no preservatives. We use a healthy portion of nuts and seeds, the best unsulphered tropical fruits available, canola oil and Hawaiian honey. The special flavoring in our products is pure vanilla made from Madagascar beans, which we grind and infuse to our exact specifications.” They also claim that many upscale hotels and restaurants throughout Hawaii serve Anahola Granola exclusively to their guests.
Let’s open the bag and check it out…
Mmm, lots of seeds ‘n nuts, indeed! Already a winner in my book! Anahola Granola also sells several other varieties with dried fruits and such.
I didn’t have any yogurt or milk on-hand to accompany it, but that’s OK, as I enjoy snacking on granola by itself as well.
And? Winnahz! Notice there’s no sugar, just Hawaiian Honey (not da’ kine on River & Hotel Street at midnight). With that, it has just the right amount of sweetness that tastes natural. It still tastes like I’m eating breakfast, not a candied health snack, if you know what I mean.
There’s a generous ratio of walnuts ‘n seeds to granola, plus shards of toasted coconut, although the coconut part was rather scarce. I thought maybe the coconut had fallen to the bottom of the bag, but I looked carefully, and that wasn’t the case. The walnuts are nice ‘n chunky, with an ever-so-delicate coating of honey to sweeten them up and help mask their inherent bitterness. The shelled sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are plain with no salt or sugar coating them, which is good, as they add nuttiness without muddling the granola flavor.
As for the Madagascar Vanilla, it’s very, very subtle, which I’ll take the liberty to assume like baking in general, is used for this recipe primarily as an overall flavor enhancer.
Texture-wise, it’s super duper crispy-crunchy, making that a huge selling point!
Anahola Granola is simply an excellent made in Hawaii product that tastes fresh, balanced and of the highest quality standards. It’s totally worth a try and highly recommended!
What? Anahola Granola
Where can I buy it and how much does it cost? Online and at fine retailers all around Hawaii ($7.99 per 24 oz. package at Costco on Oahu)
Big Shaka to: Naturally sweetened with Hawaiian Honey (no refined sugar!). Not too sweet, but jusssss’ right! Generous helping of chunky, lightly sweetened walnuts, unsalted sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Tastes like a high quality natural food product (because it is). Nice ‘n crunchy, not stale at all, like it had just been made yesterday. Zip lock package keeps product fresh. Very catchy “Anahola Granola” marketing name. Anahola Farmers Market.
No shaka to: Could use more toasted coconut. Not having fresh fruits, milk and yogurt conveniently available in the lunchroom refrigerator.
The Tasty Island rating: 5 Ume Musubi
(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)
Official website: AnaholaGranola.com
• Anahola Granola – Trip Advisor user reviews
• Anahola Hawaiian Land Farmers Market – Trip Advisor user reviews
• Anahola Farmers Market – Yelp user reviews
• Kauai’s Official Travel Site – GoHawaii.com/Kauai
• Costco Made in Hawaii Eats – The Tasty Island