Fruits Galore

Fruits in Hawaii

Fruits in Hawaii

After spending two incredible weeks in Hawaii, I miss the island life. It’s not just the weather that I miss but it’s access to fresh and exotic fruits such as rambutan, yellow dragon fruit, white pineapple, lilikoi, papaya, apple banana, ice cream banana and cherimoya.

When we were on the Big Island, we frequently visited the farmer’s markets and eagerly picked up fruits. It was a bit like a treasure hunt, looking for our favourite, mine being the yellow dragon fruit and my wife’s papayas. In between, we were picking up rambutans, star fruits, passion fruits which they call lilikoi’s (3 for $1) and a new fruit that we recently tried, the cherimoya.

Last year, our visit to the Big Island introduced us to the sweet tasting yellow dragon fruit. Unlike the pink dragon fruit that is sold in Canada and is awfully bland, the yellow variety is full of sweetness. The meat is white with black seeds and has the same texture as the kiwi fruit. ($5 per pound and is worth every penny of it.)

This year, we tried the cherimoya which is the green fruit pictured in the right hand corner. Cherimoya’s range in size, from a small tomato to a small watermelon. They need to be soft and almost mushy before eaten. When sliced open, the cherimoya is white with black seeds which are to be discarded. The meat is like custard, smooth and silky and really, ┬áreally sweet. Almost like honey sweet. The meat is custard like and you can almost eat it with a spoon. Its origin is not from Hawaii but from Brazil. Same goes for rambutans where the origin is from Thailand. (4 for $1)

On our second week, we flew to Kauai and found all the farmer’s market locations. Lucky for us, there was one happening every day but in different parts of Kauai. There, rambutans were plentiful and fresh as can be. The freshly picked rambutans are soft and sweet, unlike the ones that are imported from Thailand and sold in Canada. Have anyone tried the white pineapples before? If not, try one next time you run into one. We did and was pleasantly surprised that a white pineapple is less acidic.

Apple bananas and ice cream bananas were also new to our palettes. Super sweet and firm. Now, do you know why we miss Hawaii so much?

Buy Groceries at Sobey’s and Fly Business Class

Sobey's at Strathcona

Sobey’s at Strathcona

One of the best ways to fly internationally is in business class. There you are invited to the front of the plane where individual pods are assigned to travellers like you. It’s nice on a long trip to be treated like royalty or you can adjust your seat and convert it to a bed. You can either sit up and watch your personal entertainment device or lie back and sleep the miles away. Have I convinced you to fly business class? If so, sign up.

The place to sign up is at Sobey’s in their club Sobeys program. Every time you shop there, you can earn Aeroplan points. The thing I like about shopping at Sobey’s is when they have promotional days such as their Dollar Days. I have to admit, I hate broccoli, however for a buck a bag, I can stomach that. It’s actually pretty good in Chinese dishes like Beef and Broccoli or a hotpot with chicken, tofu, celery, green onions, carrots and mushrooms.

Many times a week, Sobey’s will have sale days where they will encourage some bulk buying on your part. As a reward, they will give you additional points. Last week for instance, I purchased two bottles of salsa verde (to make chili verde with pork). From that purchase, I earned 25 points. If you like tea, they were giving you 100 points if you bought 4 boxes. My pantry is full of tea and coffee so I skipped this deal. Bottom line is that everyone needs groceries and a vacation. It makes perfect sense to shop for groceries, earn your Aeroplan points to fly business class on your vacation.

Everyone Screams for Ice Cream

My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe

My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe

I just saw an ice cream maker for $22 at Liquidation World. But instead of making your own, go to Calgary’s oldest ice cream store – My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe in Marda Loop. When you go there, prepare yourself to go back in time when tin toys were in because lined up on their shelves, you’ll find all your favourite toys, glassware and memorabilia.

I heard someone say there are 47 flavours. I didn’t bother to count them but if you go there and count, please post a comment on my blog for all my readers.

I know for a fact that they have both ice cream and sorbet. They also have kiddy cones, regular cones and waffle cones for the adults. My pick is always the waffle cone. And here’s a tip – get a single scoop cone instead of a double or triple. If you like to try different flavours, go back after your first cone and get another. The reason why is because they really pile it high when you order a single scoop.

I’ve heard people say that their green tea ice cream is more authentic than the ones they serve at Japanese restaurants. True, it is more tart and rich. I personally like Expresso Flake and Caramel Pecan Fudge because these two flavours are smooth and decadent. They literally melt in your mouth (if not all over you.) The Candy Floss one is delicious too and so is Bubble Gum. It’s almost like you’re a kid again. Some people like Tiger Tail and others like Cherry Burgundy. I’m allergic to cherries but I’m fine with ice cream.

My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe on Urbanspoon

They used to have Barney’s purple ice cream but I don’t see it anymore. Maybe because Barney isn’t so popular with the kids anymore. Mango Pango is good too and so is, Mud Pie. They’re all delicious because everybody screams for ice cream.