Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wild Kauai Boar

Shelley here - your intrepid traveling recipe blogger. I just got back from Kauai. When most people think about Hawaii, they think sun, sand, and surf; I think about wild boar. In fact, I dream about the wild boar on Kauai. There's a man in Anahola about half way between Lihue and Hanalei who traps young wild boars, butchers them, and roasts them at a roadside stand on weekends. You can smell the wafting aroma of succulent pig on an open fire from blocks away. He sells slices or chunks of any size with well-seasoned, roasted red skin potatoes, island grown sweet corn, and of course, his secret sauce, which is a smoky barbeque sauce with a hint of sweet and touch of tart. It's about as local as you can get on an island where there are very few mammals suitable for eating.

I usually pick up a few pounds of the tender, smoky meat. It's a slice of heaven right off the grill. It's also great cold on sandwiches, chopped and folded into scrambled eggs for breakfast, diced and made into hash with potatoes and onions, or just plain re-heated gently for another great meal.

Being a locavore on Kauai is much easier than it used to be. There's a "sunshine market" every day somewhere on the island and a passel of other privately-run farmer's markets. Competition for island-grown greens, such as arugula and mizuna, can be fierce, but tropical fruits such as papayas, pineapples, and bananas are abundant, as are sweet potatoes, taro, and giant avocados. Island-grown carrots, tomatoes, onions and herbs are also available, as well as eggs from local farms.

Of course, there's wonderful, locally-caught fish, especially ahi tuna. I discovered locally-caught shrimp on this trip. They were so fresh and minimally-processed with their shells, heads, and long antennae still attached! They tasted sweet and juicy sauteed quickly in butter and lime juice with a little salt.

There's a goat farm in Kilauea where a lovely, mild, soft goat cheese is produced. It's sometimes available in local markets but restaurants on Kauai apparently have first dibs. Coffee is grown on many of the Hawaiian Islands and there's a nascent chocolate industry on Kauai, too.

I remember a time when fine food on Hawaii meant steak and lobster shipped over frozen from the mainland. That's still available, but there's no need to settle for that when there's so much locally-grown, organic, fresh food available from small farms and artisan producers. So, wherever you go, take a moment to seek out the local delicacies and you'll take home the memory of these special treats as your souvenir.


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