At last, you get to eat what you picked
On the menu: five courses we foraged. Croquettes of zucchini, sweet potato, and taro with green tomato chutney, and lemon herb chermoula. Taro ranch salad with shaved carrot, radish, baby lettuce, squash blossom, banana blossom, cherry tomatoes, pea shoots, nasturtium blooms, and a silky nasturtium vinaigrette. Risotto cooked in tomato water, with micro greens and ahi tartare, topped with basil.
Then a generous free-range short rib, harvested from the ranch, with a five-spice glacé; the meat is so tender it sloughs from the bone. Dessert is a scalding baked pineapple and ginger crumble with whipped vanilla bean mascarpone and a rich chocolate avocado mousse topped with just-picked raspberries. We eat it on the run. This is a tropical island, after all, and as the weather turns, our pilot gets skittish.
As we take off, we pass a forested hill -- the Ka‘uiki Head -- the birthplace of a queen and the site of a historic battle in the 1700s between warring Hawaiian chiefs.
We fly over miles of sugar cane, and Chris tells us that this is the last season Maui will grow it, no longer the cash crop it once was. What will happen to these plantations? The opportunity will be there for the island to press on beyond beaches, golf courses, and resorts. Land owners here could do worse than to look to Hana as an example of sustainable tourism and farm-to-table foraging. Low-impact foods, grown as organically as possible, steps away from sun and surf. It would be perfect for choosy foodies willing to get down in the soil.