Five foods to get you in the mood
By Jen Russo
Asparagus & Avocado
Since ancient times foods that are regarded for their sensual powers reference anatomy. We can thank the Romans and Aztecs for that. Case in point: the asparagus spear and avocado bulb. Allusions to genitalia aside, they are absolutely delicious. At Casanova’s you can get them together in one fabulous dish, the asparagi al prosciutto. Chase it down with some of the fabulous Italian wines they have and see if you can make it past first base. 118 Makawao Ave., 572-0220.
Stella Blues, Kihei; Green Banana, Paia
What could be sexier than consuming the sweet creamy banana? This phallic yellow food is rich in B vitamins and potassium, which can get the hormones rollin’. Served in gardens islandwide, but I prefer mine prepared. Start with the irresistible Banana pudding at the Green Banana and end (if you’ve got room) with Stella Blues’ Bananas Foster with macadamia nuts and rum-smothering ice cream. 1279 S. Kihei Rd., 874-3779; 137 Hana Hwy., 579-9130.
Maui Bake Shop, Wailuku
Chocolate has got it all: neurotransmitters, mood enhancers, antioxidants—this stuff is the antidote to the ole “I’ve got a headache” problem. It’s also a very popular Valentines gift. Get your chocoholic the homemade truffles at Maui Bake Shop; they’re the most amazing chocolate fix ever. 2092 W. Vineyard St., 242-0064.
The Waterfront, Maalaea
They say not even vestal virgins can resist the temptation of oysters. Served raw in the shell, chilled on ice with lemon squeezed over them—there is a primal force at play as you devour this delicacy of the sea. Plus, they’re full of protein and low in fat, a great energy source just in case you need one. (Wink.) 50 Hauoli St., 244-9028.
Ulupalakua Winery sparkling wines, available islandwide
A little bubbly can hit the bloodstream quickly. Inebriation drops inhibition and drives desire, but too much is a buzzkill so don’t overdo it. The Ulupalakua Winery makes two sparkling wines: the Hula O Maui with pineapple and Rose Ranch Cuvee, a dry pink champagne. Serve them chilled with muddled fresh berries and you’ll be able to cut the pheromones in the air with a knife. (877) 878-6058 or www.mauiwine.com
Spice up your Valentine’s Day
By Kate Bradshaw
Maui Brewing Co., Lahaina
I used to be of the persuasion that beer is beer and spicy is spicy and never the twain shall meet. Yet this beer has made a believer out of me—beer buzz plus spiciness-induced rush equals warm giddiness. The beer consists essentially of the Brew Co.’s Bikini Blonde lager with an infusion of chili peppers. Degree of spiciness varies by batch, but regardless, this drink is not for the faint of heart. 4405 Honoapiilani Hwy., 669-3474.
Chili pepper-infused dark chocolate
Mana Foods, Paia
Chocolate. It is something I allow myself to eat once every, oh, I don’t know, four weeks or so. I can’t say whether I’ve ever consumed enough to give me an endorphin rush, but I would bet that a capsaicin injection would substantially kick up a rectangle of dark chocolate’s buzz potential. 49 Baldwin Ave., 579-8078.
The Hawaiian Superman
December, 2008. The Maui Time holiday bar crawl. We’re all pretty much on our way, save for the DD. I spot this drink on the menu and decide to give it a go. A martini made with gin and chili water warrants the following exclamation: oh, hell yes! My colleagues thought the drink a little too spicy, but I found the heat hard to resist. Those planning on ordering one are advised to bring gum. 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy., 661-5304.
It’s kind of surprising that Saeng’s isn’t more famous for its green curry. As a curry enthusiast I believe I have the authority to deem this dish a culinary requirement for all who periodically dine in the vicinity of Wailuku. I admit to regularly ordering the stuff in the median spice capacity, but believe that everyone should try to push his or her sensory limits by going full throttle at least once in a while. 2119 W. Vineyard St., 244-1567.
Li Hing Margarita
Instead of going the obvious route, which would be burritos or what-have-you, I sought the unconventional for my last entry, which also happens to involve booze. Go figure. So this margarita won’t turn your tongue to cinder, but the powdered li hing that lines the rim kicks up the drink’s tartness quotient. 3 Baldwin Ave., 579-8755. MTW