Monday, June 25, 2007
Well folks, I did find a place where one can get some good bread west of the Hudson, but the good or bad news depending on how you choose to view it is that it is in Kilauea, Kauai. Now Kilauea happens to be paradise. But it's also a little far and you can't get there from here by car alone.
Kilauea Bakery was a find my husband and I were particularly proud to have found without guidebooks or other outside advice. Perhaps I'll flatter us and think of us like homing pigeons subliminally programed to sniff out the good bread no matter where we are...We especially liked their Hawaiian Sweet Bread and their Hawaiian Sourdough made with guava juice. They went especially nicely with the outstanding local honey--not surprising that it is outstanding in a locale known as the "Garden Isle." We bought our honey at the health food store in Hanalei called Papaya's (Try this link, if that one I gave is not working). The breads were also superb with some local goat cheese that we found at the Saturday morning farmer's market in Hanalei. The goat cheese comes in several varieties, including plain, sun dried tomato, and passion fruit. My husband insists it might be the best goat cheese he's ever had, and them be mighty words for a guy who grew up surrounded by farms in Germany and who has lived in Greece, Italy, and France. The challah at Kilauea Bakery is also quite good, a bit like the Hawaiian Sweet Bread. NYC readers will be charmed or alarmed to know that the guy behind the counter shared with me that challah (the "ch" of which he pronounced like that in "chair") is a kind of Portuguese bread. I put on my best Great Neck accent to explain that challah (the "ch" of which is pronounced like a mix of the "ch" in "christamighty" and gathering spit) is actually not Portuguese, but Jewish. And possibly why they had it available on a Thursday but hadn't had it on Monday or Tuesday was because it is traditionally eaten on Friday. I was not raised religiously Jewish, but one needn't be to know this I believe, if one has lived long enough in New York City. The fellow, like almost everyone who was working at Kilauea Bakery who more often than not also had wide gaps in the information they had on hand about the bread at the bakery, was good-natured and enormously generous of spirit upon hearing the news.
Kilauea Bakery is located in the Kong Lung Center on Keneke Street in Kilauea on the North Shore. It's open 7 days a week 6:30 am-9 pm. Phone is 808-928-2020