“I have fond childhood memories of riding along with my cousins in my aunty’s pine tree green Ford station wagon to Volcanoes National Park, where we’d go up to the Crater Rim Drive to pick buckets of `ōhelo berries." -Chef Brian
The `ōhelo, which is a food source for the nēnē, our state bird, has great significance in Hawaiian history and culture.
Prior to eating the berries or upon visiting Kīlauea, they are offered to Pele, goddess of the volcano, as the berries and branches represent the flesh & bones of Ka`ōhelo, her sister who was buried at Kīlauea
`Ōhelo is often picked to make jellies and jams, and is the featured ingredient in our signature dessert, `Ōhelo Berry Cheesecake, which was inspired by a dessert Chef Brian's mom and aunty would often make after picking `ōhelo.
The cheesecake is garnished with foraged sheep sorrel - an introduced herb that has many medicinal uses, and offers a tart, lemony flavor to dishes.