Adela’s Country Eatery's sustainable noodles make for a colorful spread in Kāneʻohe
While Adela’s Country Eatery in Kāneʻohe on Oʻahu was innovating ways to become more sustainable, it hit on an idea that is putting it on the map for foodies in search of something new to tantalize their tastebuds.
The Conversation was there early one morning while Adela herself was in the kitchen, busy preparing their signature noodles made of ʻulu (breadfruit), sweet potato, kalo (taro), moringa and even avocado.
It was a sea of green, purple and yellow noodles spread out on the counter and being prepared in a noodle machine from Japan. Adela’s two machines hummed away in the background, mixing breadfruit and flour.
"If I feel that it's not well blended or well mixed, then I can run it again. So it's just depending on the feel of the dough. So these machines do everything for me," she said. "After kneading the dough and all that, we let it rest in the rack for at least 15 minutes or so."
Uncle Richard is Adela's marketing man. He's the link to local farmers — and that day, a box of breadfruit was sitting at the front door.
They started experimenting with local produce after a trip to the Big Island about five years ago.
"One day we were over there, I see how they drop off the Okinawan sweet potato — 90 days work," he said. "The Hawaiian farm mostly is like 3 acres or 5 acres, small farms. You're so busy tending your farm, working hard, half the time you don't have enough time to get rid of the produce."
"So they dumped the whole truckload of Okinawan sweet potato to feed the pigs. I said 'Wow, this is 90 days work, that's a lot of effort.' So we start to figure out what you can do," Uncle Richard told HPR.
The shop replaces a certain percentage of the flour component with produce like sweet potato, but that doesn't make the noodles taste sweet. Uncle Richard said customers with diabetes report their blood sugars don't spike after eating the noodles.
"We don't reinvent noodles. I just want it closest to a good piece of noodle, pasta — to me it's the texture," he said.
Packaged noodles are only available at the Kāneʻohe shop. Adela's Country Eatery also offers made-to-order plate lunches and decadent desserts.
This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 10, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.