Salty wahine rubs shoppers the right way

Dennis Fujimoto

the garden island

PO‘IPU — There was no shortage of takers Wednesday as Megan Rasay walked through The Shops at Kukui‘ula with her tray of Grilled New York Steak with Mango Java Steak Rub and Pineapple.

“This is Laura Cristobal’s first demonstration,” said Melissa McFerrin of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau who coordinates the Wednesday Gourmet Community Market at the Po‘ipu shopping center. “I’ll be helping her out by telling the shoppers what is happening.”

Cristobal is the owner of The Salty Wahine, a Kaua‘i Made vendor offering a wide variety of spices and rubs centering around Hawaiian sea salt.

Wednesday’s demonstration departed from the usual creation to how to enhance what people normally cook, the New York steak being enhanced with a crust from the dry rub Mango Java Steak Rub.

“The java is from Kaua‘i Coffee,” Cristobal said. “And the pineapples are fresh from Eric Young, one of the vendors here at the Wednesday market.”

Cristobal said she even returned the pineapple crowns so Young could start more pineapples.

“More and more, vendors are using products from other vendors featuring either Kaua‘i Made or Kaua‘i Grown,” Cristobal said. “This is really good, and now that we’ve started doing this, you just can’t beat fresh-picked.”

As a testament to the eager samplers, the Salty Wahine table had shoppers stacked in a line, eager to savor the aroma of its offerings while waiting to pick up not only the Mango Java Steak Rub, but other related rubs.

The cooking demonstration is a regular feature of the Wednesday Gourmet Community Market which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Shops at Kukui‘ula.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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