New Food Truck at Fairmont Kea Lani
Along the Wailea Beach Path, a tiny food truck with “hearty grindz” is the new grab n’ go favorite; serving piping hot Social Hour coffee, savory breakfast items and delicious local lunch favorites. For our on-property guests, the truck offers canned and poured libations from Maui Brewing Co. The ‘Opihi Food Truck is the newest culinary hit from the Fairmont Kea Lani and it was a team effort as the name “‘Opihi” was chosen from an all-colleague naming contest.
The first-place winner explained why they chose to enter the name ‘Opihi:
“ ‘Opihi is a small creature that is a delicacy and natural resource for sustenance in the Hawaiian culture. This creature is also “solid” and extremely difficult to budge, showing strength for something so small. Because of this, its size suggests what the tiny truck has to offer. Though it may be small, it provides hearty grindz to satisfy one’s appetite any time of day!”
You certainly can call the limpet ‘opihi “solid” or stubborn as they cling to the rocks along the shore where they graze on algae. Although they may look defenseless, once they know a picker has them in their sights, they lock down to the rock so tightly that a Kona storm will be hard-pressed to knock them loose.
We like to think our ʻOpihi Food Truck, located on Polo Lawn at Fairmont Kea Lani, represents strength and resiliency. Their look is iconic and easy to pick out, looking like a mini mountain with striations running from top to bottom all the way around.
‘Opihi is endemic to Hawaii, meaning they do not occur naturally in any other habitat on earth, they are a cultural treasure to Hawaii and the Hawaiian people. While there are 4 species of ‘opihi, the most sought-after is the opihi alina alina yellowfoot limpet. 1
They pair well with poi (a dish made from the root of taro) adding the salty, sharp flavor of the sea. Their significance to Hawaiian culture runs much deeper than a snack that can be eaten fresh at the time of picking. ‘Opihi reminds us of mother and child, the ‘opihi clings to the rock as a child to its mother. ‘Opihi shells have been used for jewelry making, fertilizer and as a tool for scraping. ‘Opihi holds such a role in Hawaiian culture that they are included in the Hawaiian creation chant: “Hanau ka Makai-auli, o ka ‘Opihi kana keiki, puka” born was the big limpet, his child the small limpet came forth.2
Living up to the tasty tradition that is ‘opihi, Fairmont Kea Lani did not want to create another beach path coffee option, but to bring some local and guest favorites to Polo Beach including chia seed pudding, Hawaiian-style poke bowls, spam musubi, pineapple popsicles and much more.
So next time you are strolling the Wailea beach path, stop by ‘Opihi and taste for yourself what this small but mighty food truck has to offer.
- Traditional Ways of Knowing: ʻOpihi in Hawaiʻi | manoa.hawaii.edu/ExploringOurFluidEarth
- ‘Opihi treasured as a cultural delicacy | News, Sports, Jobs – Maui News