A Taste of Hawaii

The Onomea Tea Company

CEILING FANS SPIN ABOVE TABLES covered with mint-green cloths as we settle in for lunch and a farm at the Hawaiian Vanilla Company here in the rain-forest town of Paauilo,
an hour’s drive from the Big Island's sunny Kohala Coast. 

Jelly jars filled with vanilla-scented iced tea and lemonade arrive, along with vanilla- infused sautéed shrimp, grilled chicken in a bourbon-vanilla-citrus marinade, and a salad tossed with a vanilla-spiked raspberry vinaigrette.


A vanilla-inspired lunch at the Hawaiian Vanilla Co.

Any regrets I had about leaving the beach behind to explore the agricultural side of an island normally associated with volcanoes and lava-rock fields disappear as quickly as our dessert of vanilla ice cream with passion-fruit curd. In business since 2000, Hawaiian Vanilla is among a handful of Big Island microfarms and culinary entrepreneurs welcoming visitors for a look behind the scenes.



Wendell and Netta Branco of  Long Ears Coffee Co.

Find out more about the Big Island's agricultural and culinary scene in my "Taste of Hawaii'' story in the March issue of Virtuoso Life magazine.


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