Friday, January 15, 2010

Taro Ko Chips

CQ often raved about the Taro Ko taro chips she had eaten about 8 years ago when visiting Kauai. She said they were made by a little old Japanese lady and they were the best in the whole world. She said they could only be found in Kauai, and that they were not sold anywhere else.

So, earlier this week I placed a call to Taro Ko Chips. I talked story with Dale Nagamine who is the son of the "little old Japanese lady". I asked him if I could find the chips here in Oahu. He said, "No." I asked him, "Why?" "Well", he replied, "It's a one-man operation here, I do everything by myself." I prodded, "You do everything by yourself? What's your day like?" He said that he gets the taro in the morning and then comes back, prepares them and fries for most of the day. I said, "So, first thing every morning you go out into your yard and pick the taro?" He said, "No, it's about 1/2 mile away." I said, "If I ever get to Kauai, can I like hang out with you? I won't get in your way. In fact, my friends will go help you pick the taro (notice I said my friends, not me)." He said that I could but warned me that it wasn't too interesting. I asked him if he would ship the chips to me. He said that he would be willing. I told him I would call him back if I decided to order some.

I think it was the next day that I called Dale back and placed my order. He took my info and said that he would send it via mailman. I asked, "So how do I pay you?" He said, "I'll bill you." I said, "What??? You're gonna bill me later?" He said, "Yeah, I trust you." !!!!!!

Each day after that, me and CQ wondered how far along the order was. "So, do you think he picked our taro yet?" Then, "It must be frying by now." Then, "I think he should be packing it soon." Then today, for some reason, I had the feeling that the package would arrive. I kept telling CQ, "I think it's today." She laughed as I got my camera ready to catch the delivery.

We both heard the mailman outside of our door even before he knocked. I peeked through the peephole and saw the boxes!!! "I KNEW IT!!!!" "I JUST KNEW IT!!!!" "HOOO HOOOO!!!"

It's $3.50 a package.

Sliced veeeeery thin, it's a little bit on the salty side, garlicky and sooooo ono. CQ said that Dale had learned well. I hate to admit this to you, but I almost finished a whole bag on the drive home from work. Damn you, CQ!!

Dale, I don't know if you have internet access, but if you ever stumble across this blog, thank you , thank you, thank you.


Erick said...

Wow, cool. The last time I went to Kauai me and my friends found the house they cook the chips in. It is a small green plantation style house. The had two giant woks each with a huge gas burner and a rack of chips cooling in the air. To say it was hot was an understatement. They didn't have many bags so they told us to come back later. We came back in the afternoon and they sold us all the extra ones they had. Like most people on Kauai they were so nice and considerate. Great chips too!

K and S said...

wow homemade and looks so ono! that's how japan is, pay after you receive the merchandise, I thought it was kinda crazy at first.

RONW said...

perhaps you should be their distributer on Oahu.

p.s., do you really think it's safe to post name and address on the Internet (in photo).

Betty Townsend said...

Oh wow!!! These look so ONO!! Hanapepe is the town my mother grew up in.

jalna said...

Erick, you've been there! I like go check um out too.

Kat, that's unreal that people are trusted to pay after.

Thanks for the warning Ron. I was hesitant but posted it anyway. I think I'll go doctor up the photo.

Wow Betty, you've got roots to Hanapepe!

Betty Townsend said...

yeah! She was born in Eleele, grew up in Hanapepe. I'm sure I've been past this store. Never stopped though. I have family that live in Kalaheo. These 3 towns are all next to each other.

susie said...

OMG!!! I guess he figured that you are a very trusting sole. Cute pictures Love the one of Runa with the chip in the door pocket!!!

jalna said...

Susie, you're so observant . . . you noticed the two bags in the door pocket!! It's for Cathy; she ordered two.

Nippon Nin said...

What a charming story! I enjoyed it very much!