The beauty of place (eating local on Kauai)

Being in a new place always recharges my soul, and one that is as beautiful as Kauai is almost unparalleled. 10 days in paradise, can’t wait to go back (with the boys, I promise!)

Food highlights:

  • Hawaiian shave ice. (Yes, “shave” not “shaved” is correct.) To compare this to a snow cone is like calling a Lambourghini just a car. It’s light, ice snowflakes topped with exotic flavors like guava/passionfruit/mango, served over macadamia nut ice cream and drizzled with cream. Yum. 
  • Sashimi ahi. Just look at the color on that fish! 
  • Longboard beer, a refreshing nutty lager. Pairs surprisingly well with ahi. You can find it on the mainland.
  • Poke. Endless variety–the best we found was at Koloa Fish Market. Avocado (I’m forever spoiled by butter avocados from the farmer’s market), spicy ahi, chili pepper ahi and spicy shrimp were some of our favorites. 
  • Gorilla bowl, which was a poke bowl on steroids with ahi, ona and salmon, plus avocado, cucs, unagi, wasabi aioli. This is Kauai in a bowl!!!
  • Acai bowl, which is like a smoothie in a bowl topped with fruit, granola, yogurt and coconut. The idea is that the bowl slows down how fast you eat it 😇 I’m mixing this into the breakfast routine at home because it’s so nutritious and filling (even if I have to use frozen, not fresh, fruit). With a cup of Kauai-grown coffee of course!

We will go back…this is a place where “eating local” is delicious!

Ice cold walleye (before and after)

Ice fishing. Hmmmm. Sounds suspiciously like goofing off while I manage hockey (it was hockey day in Minnesota on Saturday, I attended/watched 8 games this weekend, capped off by a game winning goal in OT–way to go Av! My mother of the year award will be arriving anyday now.) 

As proof of his conquests, Matt did bring home walleye, which was delicious. I think it’s even better in winter from the cold clear depths. It doesn’t need anything more than salt, pepper and panko in olive oil/butter, squeeze of lemon. 

But that got me thinking about what it is to eat something that you kill. It’s hard for me to say that and I know some of my vegan readers will agree. I’m not a big meat eater and it is not uncommon for us to have a vegetarian family meal. Matt doesn’t hunt and very very rarely does he keep fish. I truly thought about this as I made dinner last night and whether my current lifestyle allows me this luxury to think like this.

For me being a “picky” meat eater comes from the experience of touring a pork processing plant many years ago. It was enlightening–How the animals are treated and what it’s like to work in a place like that. (Anyone who wants a cheap hamburger should tour one to understand why it costs $1.)

More of the developing world can afford meat, and so we produce more (along with directing more of the plants we grow to feeding them). And on the other end of the spectrum, more people are choosing not to eat meat at all or only responsibly sourced.

Where do you fall on this spectrum and how would you justify it to a teenage boy (who both needs and enjoys the protein, but sees how we’re overconsuming the world’s resources)? Would you have released the walleye?