For Father's Day, I sent my dad dried mango coated in li hing mui. My father-in-law received dried fish. When my college roommate came for a visit with her children over spring break, I greeted them at the airport with lei, of course, and a box of snacks--Mele Macs, Kauai Coffee and furikake popcorn. My friend Wendy gets Aunty Lilikoi's Passion Wasabi Dressing. My friend Pat, who lives on a sailboat on Oahu, gets a packet from Aloha Spice Company.
Omiyage. The practice of gift-giving is an art in Japan. Those roots sprouted easily in the welcoming soil of Hawaiian culture when Japanese immigrants arrived. I've learned not to go anywhere with empty hands. Thankfully, these Hawaiian Islands offer a never-ending supply of gifts unique to Hawaii.
But food isn't the only omiyage around. My latest favorite is soap.
Soap, you ask, are you serious?
What, I ask, isn't soap a sexy enough gift for you? You don't think it possesses that certain something to qualify for special omiyage status?
Well, let me introduce you to Indigenous Soap. Love Chance lives on Oahu and makes some pretty spectacular soap. And who can't use soap? We all turn to soap a multitude of times throughout our day. Think about it. Without soap, where would we be? Still don't believe me? Then, read my newest article, a profile of Indigenous Soap, owned and operated by Love Chance. (If anything, read it to find out if Love Chance--what a name, right?--is a real person.)
Here's my top 10 list of my favorite omiyage ideas from Kauai, in no particular order--and if Love Chance lived on Kauai, I would definitely add Indigenous Soap to the list. Luckily, though, I have co-worker from Oahu who gives me some when I visit.
1. Anahola granola.
2. Tip Top Cafe cookies.
3. Hanalei Tea.
4. Island Soap & Candle Works.
5. Kauai Kookie.
6. Kauai Coffee.
7. Aunty Liliokoi's dressings, mustards, butters, jellies and syrups.
8. Seasonings from Aloha Spice Company.
9. Malie Organics.
10. Engineer hat from a. ell design.
What would you add to the list--and feel free to think beyond Kauai.