Tropical Cornbread with Pineapple and a hike to Iao Valley & the weathered cross in Maui

by Irvin on August 11, 2011 · 4 comments

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Recently, while driving back from yet another gorgeous hike in Maui, I had a conversation with AJ about the various places we’ve visited in the past year. Seattle came up, as we had visited there back in January to hang out with a bunch of twitter/blogger pals of mine. I never did post about it (though I had an excellent time up there) and no this posts isn’t about that trip. But it had me thinking of our fantastic host Jenifer who graciously let AJ and I stay in her bed, while she slept on a tiny little day bed in her office. Jenifer is from the South originally (Arkansas to be specific) and hence southern food is in her blood. That said, she’ll probably be utterly horrified to see me making a bastardization of cornbread that I made on the island that night, but hopefully she won’t disown our friendship. Because I gotta say that the Tropical Cornbread with Pineapple is the stuff that a southern would be appalled at, but something AJ and I ate voraciously.

Tropical Cornbread with Pineapple jpg

Tropical Cornbread with Pineapple

I fully blame the fact that I’ve been on Maui for a chunk of time. The temptation to add rum, pineapple, mango or macadamia nuts to anything I’m baking is pretty hard to resist. It also doesn’t helps that AJ and I buy a pineapple pretty much every single day and then consume it immediately. I love pineapple and the combination of sweet corn and pineapple just sounded too good to pass up.

We found this growing pineapple on a separate hike. I was obsessed with pineapple.

We found this growing pineapple on a separate hike. I'm obsessed with pineapple.

We actually went on two different hikes, one that barely constituted a hike (more like a walk on asphalt) at the Iao Valley. I can’t really call it anything other than gorgeous, reminiscent of our trip to Kauai and the Waimea Canyon, though less lush and overgrown. And like the Waimea Canyon, there’s just no way to accurately capture the epic scale of the Valley in a photograph. Unlike the Waimea Canyon though, you can drive up to the Iao Valley and just walk right up to the paved top of the viewpoint. I hesitate to call it a hike, but since it’s listed in our hike book, I feel justified in saying that it was.

The Iao Valley jpg

The Iao Valley, nearly impossible to capture the epic beauty in a photograph.

That's not fog, that's a cloud clinging to the Iao Valley mountains. jpg

That's not fog, that's a cloud clinging to the Iao Valley mountains.

The tiny stream is what carved out the Iao Valley. jpg

The tiny stream is what carved out the Iao Valley

The second hike had us going up an exceedingly steep unmarked trail next to telephone #5 to see a weathered old cross that high school students put up back in the 60s. The hiking book claimed that we could climb the cross with the ladder that was propped up there, but once we got there, we decided the cross and the ladder looked a little too worn for our comfort level to climb.

Telephone Pole 5 that signifies the unmarked hiking trail.

Telephone pole 5 that signifies the unmarked hiking trail.

The view from the hike up to the Cross. jpg

The view from the hike up to the Cross.

The cross that AJ and I decided NOT to climb up to.

The cross that AJ and I decided NOT to climb up to

Tuckered out from all our physical activity (since we have spent most of our trip on the beach, any sort of physical exertion probably would have tired us) we stumbled home and grilled some Korean style marinated meat that I had the foresight to make that morning (yay marinate!). Yes, the marinate has pineapple in it (it sweetens AND tenderizes!). Then I made cornbread for dinner.

Tropical cornbread with pineapple

Tropical cornbread with pineapple

Sweetened from the pineapple and local macadamia nut honey, along with the super sweet local corn that we found at the farmer’s market, a touch of cayenne pepper and lime zest makes this cornbread the sort of thing that most southerners will cringe at. But if they can overlook the fact that it’s not cornbread, but more of a corn cake like baked good, I think they might enjoy it. Just don’t tell Jenifer about it. She’ll probably slap me for trying to pass it off as cornbread.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods August 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Love the idea of tropical cornbread. The addition of pineapple is genious!


Brian @ A Thought For Food August 14, 2011 at 7:19 am

I’ve always been so indifferent about cornbread… but the few times that it’s been really good, well, it’s kind of like a drug. Somehow I think this would be Crack to me


Pat August 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

This may be one of the very few trips away from classic cornbread I would be more than willing to take! It sounds quite wonderful. I “get” the pineapple-corn affinity. You’re so smart.


Rick June 28, 2016 at 10:29 am

Can’t wait to try this. Just wish I was in Hawaii to eat it! Have only been once – Kauai – most amazing vacation of my life.


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