2006/09/26

No Mo Da Kine Haupia?


"Sweet Leilani" Performed by Amy Hanaiali'i and Willie K
(geeve me "chicken skin" every time)


Since 1932, a family business in Wailuku, Maui has been making what lots of Hawaii folks say is "da bes" (the best) ice cream in the world: Roselani. The name Roselani is an Americanization of Maui's official flower, the Lokelani, or "heavenly rose".

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Run by three generations of the Nobriga family, Roselani ice cream is part of a 117 year old company, Maui Ice and Soda. They have never sold out to a big corporation, like so many successful small businesses do these days, and their ice cream has become a favorite throughout the islands of Hawaii. With flavors like Mango 'n Cream, Kona Mud Pie, Classic Macadamia Nut, and Banana Nut Crunch, they offer a taste experience you won't find anywhere else but in Hawaii.

Their orginal favorite, however, appears to be in trouble. "Haupia" is a Hawaiian pudding like dessert made from coconut milk, and Roselani Haupia Ice Cream has been a long time best seller. But recently, the supply of coconut milk, which used to come from the Philippines, frozen with no preservatives, has dried up. They used to use about five tons of it every year. Cathy Norbiga Kim, who runs Roselani, has not yet found a replacement supply that meets her high standards of quality and flavor. She will not compromise their product and has stopped making the Haupia flavor for now. So "no more da kine" Haupia ice cream, at least until a new source of coconut milk is found.
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You can read all about Roselani on their website here: Roselani Tropics. Their history page is quite interesting with some great old photos for those who like learning about Maui in the last century.

And just so you don't feel too sad about missing out on their Haupia ice cream, here is a link for a recipe for haupia dessert from the Culinary Arts Program at Maui Community College: The Wonderful Hawaiian Haupia. So ono (delicious), you know.

6 comments:

K said...

Why didn't you tell me about the ice cream while I was there?

YD said...

That's indeed a bad news worth crying over! I LOVE ice cream and seeing the demise of one made me sad sad sad...

(and thanks for the wonderful recipe!)

nzm said...

That's too bad - the coconut ice cream sounds delicious.

I love ice cream.

Tip Top in Fiji once made a curry flavour ice cream.

It was blue in colour and tasted like.....cold curry!

It didn't catch on!

The Moody Minstrel said...

What happened to the Philippine coconut supply? Is it a bad harvest, or are there economic or political reasons?

Pandabonium said...

K - uh, well, you know we don't eat so much ice cream, just small portions, so I never bought a half gallon so you could try it. Sorry.

YD - I hope you'll try making some Haupia. You've got lots of coconuts in Malaysia.

NZM - blue color and curry flavor? Arrrg! What were they thinking?

MM - good question. According to an article in the Maui News, she used to buy through a distributor in Honolulu. Seems to me that as this is their signature flavor they would be all over it finding out what the heck happened, but she says she doesn't know.

Anonymous said...

Happy news! A replacement coconut milk has been found and Roselani Haupia Ice Cream is back on freezer shelves throughout Hawai'i.
Aloha to all from Maui's own Roselani Ice Cream.