Maui's Roselani

If you’re staying at a condo on Maui, as I was, you’re in luck—you have a refrigerator. Even if your partner insists on stocking it with silly fruits and veggies, you know what it is really for: Beer and ice cream. The Very Best Beer is always the next one, but the Very Best Ice Cream is Roselani, made right here on Maui since 1932. That’s when Manuel Nobriga started churning out ice cream by hand for local ice cream parlors. Not only was it rich and velvety smooth, he had a lot of fun adding local ingredients, and the locals had even more fun eating it. In the 1970s, Manuel’s son, Buddy, came up with the name Roselani. It’s the Americanization of the word “lokelani,” which is Hawaiian for “heavenly rose.” Maui’s official flower, this red blossom has been proudly displayed on Roselani Ice Cream cartons ever since.

Now third-generation ice cream maker Cathy Nobriga Kim continues the family tradition, adding innovative Island flavors to oldtime favorites. You can find their selection of Roselani Tropics Ice Cream in stores statewide, or you can ask for it by name at restaurants and ice-cream parlors. It’s worth asking for, and chances are they’ll have it.

Although it’s made in an ice cream factory now, the recipe uses the same special formula that made it such a sought-after treat in the olden days. They say it doesn’t get any better than Manuel’s original recipe, Poppa’s Classic Chocolate. But the Kona Mud Pie, Mango ‘n Cream, and Haupia (coconut pudding flavor) are superstars too. And here is some ice-cream advice straight from Buddy: Take the ice cream out of your freezer and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to temper it. This guarantees that you will be enjoying the flavors as they were meant to be tasted. Otherwise, you’re just freezing your tastebuds. No cheating—keep that ice cream off the kitchen counter and definitely out of the microwave.

—Tom Hanley