Category: What is it? How do you eat it?



DRIED CORIANDER SEEDS are used to flavor specific dishes such as curries. The seeds are derived from the cilantro plant after going to flower then seed. Cilantro seeds when toasted, taste warm, aromatic, some-what sweet with a floral aroma and are known as the spice of coriander.

Green coriander seed-pods are a rare find at a farmers’ market. The fresh coriander seed-pods are best when eaten raw. Add them to salads or sprinkle them into a stir-fried dish. They can be used to create unique cocktail profiles by infusing them in simple syrup or a neutral spirit like vodka. You can also brine them similar to capers. The taste is citrus-like, minty and a little floral.

We encourage you to plant and grow your own.


FIRST, ARISE AND CAST YOUR VOTE by mail before October 23rd or in person before or on Election Day November 3rd for qualified national and local candidates. This election is simply too important to sit out. Just like in many policy categories, there are serious food and agriculture proposals being tossed about with significant implications.

Next, put the number 2 pencil down and cast a vote with your fork and dollars. In this election, you can truly cast as many votes as you wish.

Vote with your dollars at farmers markets for vendors who grow food with care and consideration. Vote for LOCAL chef candidates by purchasing to-go and/or in-house meals in order to help them and their staff survive this winter. Tip well and make their gift cards a frequent purchase this holiday season.

Vote with your dollars for LOCAL food and beverage producers in grocery store aisles. Choose locally owned food retailers whenever possible.

Vote with your feet by visiting LOCAL retailers who create the retailing uniqueness of our cities and towns.

Vote smart, vote often during the entire course of this pandemic election season this winter supporting local candidates in all cases. Let’s make sure this one results in a landslide victory!


Vetiver grass, or Chrysopogon zizanioides, is a perennial bunchgrass of the family Poaceae, native to India. Vetiver is most closely related to Sorghum but shares many structural characteristics with other fragrant grasses, such as lemongrass, citronella, and palmarosa. Vetiver was brought to Hawaii by the USDA for two main reasons: to help with soil erosion and to absorb toxins from the soil. 

The grass grows rapidly with a very strong root system. Although technically invasive, it is considered tolerable because of its uses and can be eradicated easily once the roots are removed and destroyed. Livestock have also been known to eat the grass. 

The roots have two medicinal qualities. Once harvested and cleaned, an oil can be extracted from them; you can rub vetiver oil on the bottom of your feet to encourage relaxation and promote a great night’s sleep. Because of its grounding effects, vetiver oil is commonly used in massages. It can also be made into a tea, which, when drunk, will induce a similar tranquil effect.



This plant belongs to the family Anacardiadeae, which includes the terebinth and the pistachio. Though sumacs are generally encountered as shrubs or small trees, they can grow up to 40 ft tall. Sumacs propagate both by seed (spread by birds and other animals), and by new shoots from rhizomes, forming large clonal colonies. The leaves are spirally arranged; though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves. The leaves contain a high proportion of tannin which is used in the manufacture of leather, giving rise to its Hebrew name, og ha-bursaka’im (“tanner’s sumac”).

The flowers appear in dense spikes 11” long. These greenish, creamy white or red flowers are very small and each has five petals. The female trees bear reddish fruits (in Syriac sumac means “red”) arranged in dense clusters called “drupes” or “sumac bobs”. The fruits are shaped like lentils, and are hairy with an acrid taste. The dried drupes of some species are ground to produce a tangy, crimson spice.

Sumac was used in drinks in the colonial United States, giving rise to the tradition of “pink lemonade”. The fruit (Rhus typhina, staghorn sumac) can be soaked in cold water to make a refreshing, vitamin C-rich beverage. Ground sumac powder can be used as a spice to add a tart, lemony taste to salads or meat. In Arab cuisine, it is used as a garnish on dishes such as hummus and tashi, and is added to salads in the Levant. It is also one of the main ingredients in Palestine’s national dish, musakhan.

In Afghan, Armenian, Bangladeshi, Indian, Iranian, Mizrahi, and Pakistani cuisines, sumac is added to rice or kebab. In Azerbaijani, Central Asian, Jordanian and Turkish cuisines, it is added to salads, kebab and lahmajoun. The variety Rhus coriaria is used in the spice mixture za’atar.

NĪOI PEPA (+ Chili Pepper Water Recipe)



Hawaiian chili peppers are small chilis, growing up to an inch long on a large bush that can reach up to four feet in height. The peppers grow pointing up to the sky. Hawaiian chili peppers mature to a bright red color and are available year-round. The small peppers are very big on spice, and rank high on the Scoville Heat scale – around 200,000 SHU. 
In Hawai‘i, these small but potent peppers are also known as Bird Beak, likely due to the method in which these peppers were spread throughout the tropical islands – by birds eating the peppers and depositing seeds in their droppings. The shape of the pepper – resembling a small bird beak – may also have something to do with the name. 
Like other members of the pepper family, Hawaiian chili peppers are high in vitamins C and A. The high amount of capsaicin in the Hawaiian chili peppers serves as a stimulant, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Capsaicin is also used as a pain reliever for those suffering from arthritis or migraines. 
It is thought that Hawaiian chili peppers came to Hawaii by way of Don Francisco de Paul Marin, a Spanish horticulturist who came to Hawaii at the end of the 18th century. Marin was also responsible for the first mangoes in Hawaii. Additionally, it is most likely the Portuguese who are responsible for the popularly-used Hawaiian condiment, chili pepper water. 
Hawaiian chili peppers are likely native to Central and South America, as are most members of the Capsicum genus. The two most popular members of C. frutescens are the Tabasco and cayenne varieties. The Capsicum peppers’ small size makes them ideal snacks for birds, who do not have the same reaction to capsaicin as humans do. Birds are another likely suspect for how chilis reached the island chain of Hawaii. Hawaiian chili peppers are known to local Hawaiians as nīoi, or nīoi pepa. The plants produce an average of 100 peppers each, making them prolific growers.
The most popular way to use Hawaiian chili peppers in Hawai‘i is for making ‘chili pepper water’ or ‘fire water’, a spicy sauce used as a condiment on everything from eggs to rice and even in cocktails. Chili pepper water is made by combining garlic, a handful of Hawaiian chili peppers, salt, and water. The concoction is put in a jar, shaken a bit, and left to sit in a cool, dark place for a month before it’s used. 
Course: Condiment
Author: Chef Gage Smith, Brown's Beach House and Hale Kai, Fairmont Orchid, Hawai'i


  • Small Pot
  • Sterilized Bottle


  • 8 oz. Water
  • 2 oz. White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Hawaiian Sea Salt
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Fresh Ginger Slices
  • 1 oz. Ogo Seaweed
  • 15 Hawaiian Chili Peppers Sliced


  • Add the ingredients to a small pot and bring to a quick boil. 
  • Reduce the heat to simmer for five minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and cool. Once cool transfer to a sterilized bottle. 
  • Let sit for at least five days before use. The longer it sits the more the flavors will infuse — it gets better over time. 
  • This will keep in the refrigerator for about a year.


Sunflower seeds get all the attention, so you may be surprised to learn that almost the entire sunflower plant can be eaten one way or another. This nutritious plant can serve as a good emergency food, eaten raw or boiled like greens.

Sunflower seeds, like most edible seeds, can be eaten raw or roasted. Rich in fats, the seeds can be ground into a powder and mixed with flour to make a delicious bread. Seeds can be used for sprouting, eaten raw in a salad, or enjoyed on their own as a simple snack. Young flower buds can be steamed and served like globe artichokes. The leaf petioles can be boiled and mixed in with other vegetables. Flower petals, leaves and roots can all be used to make tea.

Coffee Leaf Tea

Coffee leaf tea  is an  herbal tea  prepared from the  fresh green leaves of the coffee plant (either Coffea robusta or Coffea arabica). Once harvested, the leaves are roasted and crumpled or ground up before being brewed or steeped in hot water like normal tea. The resulting beverage is similar in taste to green tea, but has a lower caffeine content than both regular tea and coffee.

Studies have discovered that tea made from coffee leaves  is more healthful than both of the other beverages. Scientists have found that “coffee leaf tea” contains high levels of healthy com-pounds accredited with lowering the risk of heart disease and dia-betes, as well as an abundance of antioxidants.

Banana Flower

A banana flower is an edible fruit produced by several large, flow-ering plants in the Musa genus. In many tropical climates the bananas that are used for cooking are called plantains. The fruit varies in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with the soft, starchy flesh covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Almost all modern edible bananas come from two wild species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.

When the plant first flowers, the inner portion of each flower is ed-ible. The dark purplish-red outer petal, called a “bract,” can be re-moved, gently cleaned and used as a serving plate. Once the bract is removed it exposes a group of long thin florets with a bright yel-low tip. Carefully remove the outer light-yellow portion to reveal a delicate inner flower that is whitish in color. The cleaned floret can be added to salads, eaten raw or added to soups and curries.

Finger Limes

The finger lime plant (Citrus australasica) is also sometimes called caviar lime. It is a thorny understory shrub of lowland, subtropical rainforests and dry rainforests in the coastal border region of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. It is also now being cultivated in Hawai’i.

The shrub grows to 3-7 feet in height and its leaves are small, smooth, and somewhat glossy. Flowers are white with petals 6–9 inches in length. The fruit is cylindrical, 4–8 inches long, sometimes slightly curved, and shaped like a fat finger. Finger limes come in a range of colors from green to yellow to brown to pink, with the pink being a little sweeter.

To eat this fruit simply cut the ends off and place it on a flat surface. Take a rolling pin and roll out the small, caviar-shaped vesicles, like squeezing toothpaste out from a tube. The fruit caviar can be used wherever you would use a squeeze of citrus.