I definitely consider myself a dessert connoisseur, it’s my favorite meal of the day and I never skip it. So you can trust me. Here, in no particular order, are three completely different snacks you don’t want to leave the island of Kauai without trying:
Jo-Jo’s Anuenue Shave Ice – 9899 Waimea Rd Waimea, HI 96796
I never understood the whole shave ice thing until I went to Jo-Jo’s. Sure, it’s a refreshing treat on a hot day with some sugar on it. It’s good and all, but I just never had any life altering shave ice until that faithful day on Kauai. It’s a little confusing, but work with me here. There are two different Jojo’s shave ice spots in the small town of Waimea, and they are totally separate. You’ll have to go to the proper location to understand what I’m raving about, ‘Jo Jo’s Anuenue Shave Ice & Treats.’ Trust me. The shop is small and gets packed. So many options, what to pick? Somehow, we both had to have the same thing: the Tropical Avenue Special. Mango, guava, and lilikoi flavors with macadamia nut ice cream underneath, sounds like pure Hawaiian bliss to me. The quality of ingredients are certainly a step above mere mortal shave ice stands. The flavors were bolder and that ice cream was among the best I’ve ever tasted anywhere. Seriously, where is mac nut ice cream on the mainland? We were lucky to snag a little seat outside and commence gorging.
The servings are huge, but you have to eat fast! Don’t want all of that goodness to melt on you. This is the perfect way to end your day on the west side of the island after hiking at Waimea Canyon and swimming at Salt Pond.
Lilikoi Chiffon Pie from Hamura Saimin – 2956 Kress St Lihue, HI 96766
I love pie in all forms. When I’m in Hawaii, the pie of choice is lilikoi – also known as passion fruit where we come from, which grows on the islands. This small local joint is known for its big slice of the tasty pie. The interior is pretty neat with the snaking counter tops, wish we had stopped by for some of the saimin for dinner. Next time. This time, let’s talk about the three layers of the pie. The buttery flaky crust, which holds the thick spongy cake with the perfect lilikoi flavor, topped with the fluffiest whipped cream you could dream of. The pie is perfection. I’ll be back next time for that saimin, just so I can get more of this pie.
Taro Ko Chips – 3940 Hanapepe Rd Hanapepe, HI 96716
Maybe you don’t have a major sweet tooth. I haven’t forgotten about you salt tooth folks. The spot you can’t miss is the Taro Ko Factory, located in the adorable little town of Hanapepe. You can only find the chips in the ramshackle green building. Honestly, I was apprehensive about going inside. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I went in and was sort of greeted by two older men. They weren’t too chatty, pretty gruff, but that doesn’t bother me much. I was looking for some taro chips, like the name of the ‘factory’ would suggest, but as luck would have it they were out. We searched through the cardboard boxes which served as shelves and decided on the li hing flavored chips. Paid up, we were on our way to nearby Glass Beach. We opened up the bag and it was love at first crisp. So addictive, we ate so fast, they were almost gone before I yelled HALT! at the last handful, and snapped a picture. Forget the rickety building and the grumpy old men, that isn’t what it’s all about. It’s about the chips people, they’re amazing. Taro or no, there is no way to deny the amazing thin, light, crispy delicious morsels. These aren’t your ordinary snack mass-produced from the grocery store. You may not see the love here, but you will certainly taste it! Go get the chips.