Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tinian Hot Pepper

Blaze with the fire that is never extinguished. -- Luisa Sigea, Portuguese scholar

Just as hot as the molten lava oozing from the Big Island of Hawai'i's Mt. Kilauea, Tinian's "donne sali" is also as red and as fiery.

Though tiny, they pack a mighty punch. Their size can range from tiny like an apple pip (the wild ones) to slightly larger and more elongated (the cultivated ones), but whatever the size, the calescence will leave you gulping for air and gasping for water. (Though at times like these, downing a glass of milk helps to tone down the heat on the tongue better than water!) The draw, however, is not so much that it is pika, but rather they add incredible flavor and aroma to foods. Ask anyone who's tried the stuff -- they will confess that even the distinct aroma can cause you to salivate.

Local stores on island, like the well-known Fleming Store, are well-stocked with home-made concoctions of hot pepper sauces brought in by locals. A varying degree of recipes and styles using the star ingredient, donne sali, abounds.

The traditional style is "wet," also called dinanche.

Another type in a pure, powdered form is Tun Ku's Tinian Hot Pepper.
Sprinkle (nori katsuo) furikake and Tun Ku's Tinian Hot Pepper flakes on rice for a truly satisfying dish!

Ask for Deborah Fleming, and she'll happily arrange to send you jars of the stuff, even to Guam or the mainland U.S., but beware the blaze, you've been warned!

Tel.: +1 (670) 433-3232
Fax: +1 (670) 433-3230
Mobile: +1 (670) 483-0714


Monday, September 24, 2007


Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill.... -- Elsa Schiaparell

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a round green ball that grows on a large leafy tree that, when cooked -- and probably best done by directly placing it on a raging fire for an hour or so -- becomes a charred meteorite-like thing that one must crush immediately, flatten, almost. Dispense with the cutlery and eat it with your hands. The fragrant meat of this fruit is soft, delicate, much like a bread pudding or whipped potatoes. Add honey or sweetened condensed milk for an ambrosial taste or eat it plain for a mellow, but satisfying, experience.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kammer Beach

I am alone here in my own mind. / There is no map / and there is no road. / It is one of a kind / just as yours is. -- Anne Sexton

A peaceful Kammer Beach at 6 a.m.

Rarely do you see the beaches on Tinian crawling over with tourists. Kammer Beach, located in the heart of the main village of San Jose, along with Taga Beach and Tachogna Beach, is no exception.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where is Tinian?

“How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will.” -- Albert Einstein

View of Tinian from the west.

I always thought Tinian was like a window from which I could gaze out upon the world, but close it whenever I wanted solitude and to live idyllically, separated from the noise, pollution and confusion of the world. The temperate climate, the good-naturedness of the locals, the pristine scenery all make me think this is where people refer to when they exclaim, "I am going to retire on a beautiful island in the Pacific someday!"

The Northern Mariana Islands are located near the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.

There's much more to Tinian. It rejuvenates you and makes you appreciate the little things in life (like family, friends, the environment), and that in turn makes you care for what happens to you, your family, the environment, and on and on. In other words, living on this beautiful island makes me feel that there is a God out there who loves me so much that He created a little place in this world just for me.