An Englishman walks into a bar . . .
"Pardon me," he says, "but do you happen to have any Poi English Muffins?" Absolutely, positively, YES! Hawaii Star Bakery makes sophisticated poi muffins, by hand, to utter poi-fection.
And they're totally fat-free.
Muriel Stevens, the food critic at the Las Vegas Sun, wrote: "In years past I spent many months in Hawaii studying Asian cooking. At church luaus, which I attended regularly, I also got to eat what the Hawaiians eat at luaus: poi, ophi, poi, lomi lomi salmon, poi, pit-cooked pig, poi and coconut pudding. Poi was not my favorite. I would regularly trade my poi with the little kids. They loved it. Now I do, too -- not the dip-the-fingers-in kind, but the products made by The Poi Company in Honolulu.
"First came a package of poi English muffins. Poi is not an appealing color unless you're Hawaiian. It's a sort of puce color; so were the English muffins. It took me many days before I decided to try them. Finally I toasted one. It was so good I couldn't believe it."
The muffins can also be frozen, so why not order several?
The nutritional information (below) was correct as of November 2001.
Although we have discontinued the manufacture of fresh poi, Hawaii Star Bakery has continued to make these delicious muffins. They are made with so-called "sour" poi --- poi which is delivered to the grocery stores, and which didn't not sell. The poi manufacturer issues a credit to the store, and then flash-freezes the "sour" poi. The Poi English Muffins have always been made in the same way (with "sour" poi) by Hawaii Star Bakery.
Hawaii Star Bakery now fills internet orders for the Poi English Muffins directly.
>> Update - May 9 2005 <<
The link to the Hawaii Star Bakery online store stopped working. Please see the comments, below. I e-mailed Hawaii Star Bakery in March to ask if there was another way that folks could order the poi English muffins, but did not receive a reply. I have, therefore, deleted the non-working link.
>> Update Number 2 - April 26, 2006 <<
I have now obtained more information on the fate of the Hawaii Star Bakery Poi English Muffins.
According to an April 19, 2006 e-mail received from Liane Small at the bakery:
"We have stopped shipping our Poi Muffins to the Mainland because of the high cost of freight from Fedex and UPS. Because these muffins are very perishable, all shipments must be made by air and majority of the customers did not want to pay the price to ship after hearing the price for freight.
"Our products including the Poi Muffins can be found in most major supermarkets (Foodland, Times, Star, and Daiei) in Hawaii.
"Thank you for keeping people informed about our Poi Muffins."
I received another e-mail from Reiko advising me:
"After I sent you an e-mail, I did call the bakery and here is what I found out.
"They will send their yummy English Muffins via FedEx, however, the cost of shipping will be ;
"Overnight (before 2 pm) -- $99.68, before 7 pm -- $73.41, and 2 days -- $54.88 and a package of English muffins will be $2.40 (below market price, she said). So pretty obviously, unless you are so so desperate to have those muffins, it really isn't worth it...unfortunately.
"So I guess I have to enjoy what I got from Hyatt, and when I am desperate enough, I will spend a fortune to have those muffins sent to California where I live."
That's the latest information I have. If anyone else has more up-to-date information, or suggestions on how folks on the mainland can get the Poi English Muffins more cost-effectively, please click on the "Discuss this Story" link, above, to go to our forum.
In Memory of Tim Morikawa
We haven't known many bakers. Tim was the best we'd met. We've known a few gentlemen. Tim was definitely one of the best.
Tim ran Hawaii Star Bakery. His dad started in the 1940's, spending years perfecting the best English muffin we'd ever tasted. And while Tim wanted to play with cars and motors and get his hands greasy, he worked in the bakery. As his dad grew older and more forgetful, Tim respected his dad and did what his dad wanted. This meant sticking stamps on envelopes, rather than getting a postage meter. And handwriting checks rather than using Quicken, but Tim was respectful.
Tim could whine and complain, but he was always there when we needed help. He could suck on his teeth and shake his head, but he always came through for us. We last went to Hawaii Star Bakery on a Saturday, before we left for England. Tim was working on an engine, and I snapped this picture when we said our goodbyes, and told him we'd see him when we got back to Honolulu in a few months' time.
But we won't.
We learned that Tim died. He was taking a nap in his little room above the bakery, and died peacefully.
I'll think of him, fixing that greasy engine on a hot Saturday in Honolulu. The gentle baker.