Category: Fall 2018

Behind the Cover – Fall 2018

Celebrating Ohana

Written by Denise Laitinen

edible Hawaiian Islands is more than just a magazine, it is an ohana (family). An extended family comprised of the production team, writers, advertisers, and readers sprinkled across the islands and beyond Hawaii’s shores united in a passion about food, whether it be growing, farming, fishing, or cooking it. 

Readers of edible Hawaiian Islands also know that each cover strongly reflects Hawaii and its local foods with an emphasis on the issue’s theme. With the theme of DRINK for our 2018 Fall issue, it seemed a natural fit to feature the Bolton ohana, founders of Kona Coffee & Tea on Hawaii Island. 

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Kona Coffee & Tea is truly an ohana run company and one of the few Kona coffee farms that grows, mills, and roasts single-estate coffee, meaning all the beans come from a single farm. It’s also a multi-generational business founded by Jan and Dan Bolton with two of their grown children, Malia and Danny, managing the day-to-day operations of the company (daughter Kirstina lives on the mainland.) 

It all started back in 1996 when Dan and Jan jumped at the opportunity to acquire former ranch land in Kona called Waiono Meadows. Already running a construction company called Bolton Inc. and living in the Kona coffee belt, it seemed natural to get involved in growing coffee. 

Deeply rooted in their faith and their desire to help the Kona community, on a wing and a prayer the entire family, including the kids and extended relatives, lent a hand and planted 20 acres of arabica typica coffee in 1998.

“We saw coffee as a way to help preserve the small town that we love,” says Jan.

Within two years of harvesting and roasting their first crop of coffee cherry, the Bolton’s were winning coffee cupping contests. 

“When we won first place in the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Competition [in 2002], we knew we had something,” says Dan. 

Indeed, it’s been a steady climb up the ladder of success ever since. In 2003 they opened their first retail location near Honokokau Harbor. Ten years later they acquired a location in the Kona Coast Shopping Center previously occupied by Starbucks and after a year of renovations, opened a café. 

In the meantime, their coffee continued to rack up awards, including First Place in the 2009 Gevalia Crown Cupping Competition.

But the family’s focus has always been on more than just growing coffee or winning awards says Kelly Drysdale, director of logistics for Kona Coffee & Tea. Cultivating community and promoting local businesses is a top priority for the Boltons. Every month they feature the beans of another Big Island single-estate coffee farmer in their cafe. They source as much as possible from other local businesses, from the focaccia bread in their deli sandwiches to beers from local breweries. They even give their coffee grounds to local pig farmers for compost. 

Looking toward the next 20 years, the Bolton ohana wants to continue to grow and diversify the coffee farm with new technologies while supporting the local economy. 

“I’m beyond grateful to my parents for having a vision and not being fearful of the risk,” says Malia. “It’s amazing to see years of hard work pay off. I’m excited for what’s to come.” 

Letter of Aloha

Since June 2003, when edible Hawaiian Islands delivered its first printed issue, our mission has remained the same. We have always been focused on growing, cooking, eating and drinking locally sourced food, connecting the dots between our island home, and sharing what we find through stories and beautiful photography.

We have seen massive changes in the last 10+ years with regards to our economy, community and political landscape. Yet our readers still crave the same from us – to learn how to grow, cook, and share food. In the face of our ever-changing world, the sharing has become more important than ever.

From a personal perspective, I have watched my family grow and disperse. My keiki are now young adults seeking to create their own lives and memories, but we all still strive to connect – to feel we are part of something larger and more important than our individual existence. edible Hawaiian Islands needs to grow and change, too. Starting in 2019, we will be moving more towards a subscription-based publication, as that has always been our business model. You will also see physical changes to the look and feel of the magazine. We are proud that our growth-spurt has extended to include community events through Lawe Lawe Hawaii, an organization with a purpose driven mission: to encourage our community to grow, cook and share together. Now more than ever before we need to dig deep, go hyper-local and vote with our fork in order to save the things that are near and dear to us.

Thank you, as always, to our subscribers, readers and advertisers.

With aloha,
Dania Novack-Katz

Homemade Soda


Making your own homemade soda is super easy and fun, especially when you get the kids involved. Everyone can select their favorite flavor and experiment. We chose to make ginger ale, but you can easily swap out any flavor you desire or even experiment with flavor combinations. This recipe is easily adjustable to personal tastes. We recommend sampling as it steeps to find the right ratios of citrus tart, honey sweet and ginger heat.

2-3 ounces fresh ginger, grated
4 ounces calamansi juice
1¼ cups of local honey
1 gallon of water

Bring the mixture of ingredients to a boil to pasteurize the soda. We force CO2 into our kegs but individuals making this at home can use yeast to create carbonation the old-fashioned way. Allow the mixture to cool to a safe temperature for the yeast and add it. Mix thoroughly and bottle.

Let the bottles sit at room temperature for a day or two to carbonate the beverage. When sufficient carbonation has accumulated, refrigerate to stop the process. WARNING: over carbonation can occur and bottles can burst if not monitored. We recommend plastic bottles as it is easier to assess the level of carbonation. Also note that a very small amount of alcohol is created in the soda if you carbonize with yeast.

An alternative home strategy is to create a concentrated syrup with the ingredients and then add seltzer water as needed.


A Hawaii staple and iconic Japanese food, musubi are beloved for their simplicity, portability and satisfying blend of tender rice and savory fillings. In The Musubi Book, Hawai’i’s premiere musubi maker, Manabu Asao-ka, introduces the history of musubi, their cultural im-portance, surprising statistics, essential tools…and, of course, techniques and easy-to-follow recipes to make your own tasty musubi at home.

Written by: Manabu Asaoka
Size: 8” x 6.5”
Pages: 108 pages, Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-948011-03-7

Kombucha Cocktail


Photography by Barry Frankel
Course: Cocktail, Drinks
Author: Valley Isle Kombucha


  • Tall Glass
  • Shaker


  • 2 oz. Kōloa Rum
  • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lilikoi Juice
  • 1 Pinch of Fresh Mint
  • 2 oz. Valley Isle’s Pineapple Ginger Kombucha
  • Candied Ginger For Garnish


  • Place crushed ice in a tall glass.
  • Add simple syrup and mint leaves to a cocktail shaker to muddle. Add Kōloa Rum and lilikoi juice. Shake.
  • Pour over ice and fill glass with Valley Isle Pineapple Ginger Kombucha. Garnish with candied ginger and fresh mint leaves.


Did you know that this vegetable, sometimes called Chinese watercress, is made up of 95% water? A rapidly growing aquatic plant species, watercress is native to Europe but can be found in fresh water streams and select farms throughout Hawai‘i. We love its fresh and peppery flavor that can easily stand up against other strong tastes. This versatile ingredient can be eaten raw, sautéed as a side dish or made into a savory soup — it’s even divine as a salad dressing!






Course: Soup


  • Large Saucepan
  • Blender
  • Peeler


  • 2 Medium Potatoes
  • 2 Maui Onions
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 3 Bunches Watercress
  • 2 Tbsp. Crème Fraiche
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste


  • Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes, onions, and garlic.
  • In a large saucepan heat olive oil and sauté the potatoes, onions, and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the fresh thyme. Add the vegetable stock and washed, chopped watercress.
  • Simmer for 30-45 minutes. Remove the thyme stems.
  • Blend the soup until it’s smooth.
  • Top with fresh thyme sprig and crème fraiche.



*Go to to find the Magic Lemon Oil recipe*


  • Blender or Vitamix


  • 1 Cup Jana McMahon’s Magic Lemon Oil*
  • 2 Bunches of Watercress
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Make Jana McMahon’s Magic Lemon Oil.*
  • Wash, drain, and chop watercress.
  • In a blender, blend 1 cup lemon oil and fresh watercress until smooth.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.



Course: Breakfast, Pupu


  • Grill / Pan
  • Small Pot
  • Slotted Spoon


  • 2 Slices of Whole Grain Bread
  • 2 Island Fresh Eggs
  • 8 - 10 Sprigs of Fresh Watercress
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Whole Garlic Clove


  • Brush the bread with olive oil and toast on an open face grill. Rub the surface of the toast with cut garlic clove, then cut diagonally, and set aside.
  • Poach the two eggs, and remove them from water using a slotted spoon. Drain on a clean, dry towel.
  • Dress the watercress with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Arrange toast on a plate, add the watercress and poach eggs.
  • You can also add sliced avocado, fresh tomato, a dollop of plain yogurt, or even sliced strawberries.


A newly published book, Breadfruit Agroforestry Guide: Planning and Implementation of Regenerative Organic Methods, is now available for commercial and home growers looking to combine modern horticultur-al techniques with traditional growing methods simi-lar to those successfully employed by Pacific Islanders over many centuries.

The guide, written and published by Craig Elevitch, Di-rector of Agroforestry Net, and Dr. Diane Ragone, Di-rector of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Trop-ical Botanical Garden (NTBG), is being released as the prolific Pacific Island staple crop enjoys a resurgence in planting and growing interest across Hawai‘i and around the tropical world.

Written by: Craig Elevitch and Dr. Diane Ragone
Size: 8.5” x 11”
Pages: 64 pages, Soft cover
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-939618-07-8