Love for Cooking, Culture, and Family Spans Multiple Generations

In 2012, Salty Wahine owner Laura Cristobal-Andersland was doing what she did best: Experimenting in the kitchen. At the time she had just finished perfecting the Mango Java Steak Rub and needed a taste tester. Luckily her son Sean was always up for the job.

This time around, though, another set of taste buds would try it out too. Sean had decided to cook a steak for a new girl he was seeing as their first “official” date. He called his mom up, asked for some tips for the steak, and put the new seasoning to the test.

It was love at first bite.

Not only did the steak come out juicy, delicious, and tender with the perfect salt and pepper finish, but the girl, Jessika Montoya, eventually took Sean’s last name — and the rest is history.

Fast-forward to today, both Sean and Jessika have taken on various responsibilities in the family business, with Sean now experimenting with flavors himself. He created the award-winning Fiery Dragon Fruit Java Rub, a spicy twist on the seasoning that brought him and his wife Jessika
together all those years ago.

The Love Language of Cooking

This Valentine’s Day, consider connecting with your significant other over food, just as Sean did with Jessika on their first date. Food is one of the best ways to build your relationship with someone. Healthy relationships are all about bonding with each other, and sharing food reinforces that, as you sit across from each other swapping stories about your day.

You can take your relationship one step further when you cook for one another. Taking time out of your day to prepare a meal shows that you care; it shows your commitment to providing for and taking care of your partner.

Cooking is an expression of love.

We’ve all heard of the five love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, physical touch, and quality time. Cooking can represent all five.

  • Act of Service — At the end of a long day for you or your partner, a nice home-cooked meal can show you are willing to go the extra mile.
  • Receiving Gifts — A meal you prepare with your own hands is something special that you can’t get anywhere else.
  • Quality Time — Sharing a meal with your partner gives you both the opportunity to just relax
    and relish being in each other’s presence.

  • Physical Touch — While you eat, you might hold hands, or sneak in a kiss as you clean up.
  • Words of Affirmation — Preparing a delicious meal will surely reap some words of praise from your partner after they take their first few bites.

All this makes cooking a love language superpower, and it explains why food plays such a huge role in cultures around the world, but especially in Hawaiian culture.

Love in the Hawaiian Culture

Love is at the entire core of Hawaiian culture as well; true, honest, genuine love for yourself, your fellow human, and the environment around you.

That is where the term aloha comes from. It comes from the heart, and that’s how everyone in Hawaii lives. They live with aloha at the core of everything they do, whether it’s playing with their children, working at their job, or cooking a meal.

This is also how we, at Salty Wahine, prepare every single one of our products — from a place of aloha. Having grown up on Kauai, our family understands the significance of putting aloha into every ounce of work from mixing ingredients to blending flavors. Our goal is to express our deep appreciation for the people and the aina (the land/environment) around us and to share aloha around the world.

Each of our seasonings and rubs are blended with delicious spices and mouth-watering flavors, but above anything else, they are infused with aloha. Over the past decade and a half, that ingredient has never changed. Every time you add a dash of Island Volcano seasoning to your soup or massage some Mango Java Steak Rub into your steak, you can be sure that your love language superpower has been boosted with an extra dose of love.

Love and Aloha at Salty Wahine

As our business continues to grow, we look forward to the love that Sean and Jessika have for each other and their family as they become more and more involved in the business. We have faith that love and aloha will never be far from them at the helm one day.

After all, that’s how Salty Wahine began in the first place. Laura wanted to honor her grandmother, who taught her all about cooking with Hawaiian Salts, food within the Hawaiian culture, and the meaning of aloha. By passing along those traditions to her family, she has been able to share not only the flavors of Hawaii, but also its culture, with tables across the globe.

Multiple generations later, the love her grandmother passed on to her remains at the core of the business. And now with a granddaughter of her own, Laura knows that love will continue for generations to come.

Salty Wahine is doing everything Laura hoped it would — bring loved ones together over a good, flavorful meal.

We hope this month of love is filled with warmth and affection for you and your loved ones.

Aloha, from the Salty Wahine family.