1. Food

Publix's beloved, and seasonal, Hula Hula Macadamia Ice Cream back in stores

The Hula Hula Macadamia Ice Cream, purchased Monday at a Publix in St. Petersburg. [Photo by Michelle Stark]
The Hula Hula Macadamia Ice Cream, purchased Monday at a Publix in St. Petersburg. [Photo by Michelle Stark]
Published Jan. 27, 2015

OMG, it's back. Last year, our Taster's Choice panel slogged through dozens of punishing blind taste tests (we double-dog dare you to sample ten cold chicken broths or Worcestershires without getting a little tetchy), and one glorious day we set our sights on a limited-edition Publix Premium ice cream called Hula Hula Macadamia Ice Cream as part of a "new products" roundup. The panel scooped, the panel swooned, the panel scooped again.

It was among the highest rated foods the group has ever tested, with a vanilla base, swirls of caramel and sweet-salty candied macadamias. The base was rich, the swirl with just the right burnt-sugar edge and the chunky bits crispy on the outside giving way to the plush oiliness of sweet macadamia nuts.

We raved about the Hula. And then it was gone. A Facebook page called Where's My Hula Hula Ice Cream? has an avid following, one disciple going so far as to stockpile 30 half-gallons last summer before it disappeared. It was due back in stores Jan. 3, but the Hula Hula Nation couldn't find it. Then it was spotted at a Publix in Windermere, then in Fish Hawk. And now Publix has graced us with widespread Hula.

A half-gallon runs $4.99. And is it worth it? One devotee described its magical powers thusly: "Hula Hula is a beautiful billowy place where the heat and the humidity don't play. A place where each bite takes away each overgrown blade of grass, each drop of cheek sweat, and each kid's holler. It takes me to a cooler version of me."

— Laura Reiley, Times Food Critic


  1. German beer accompanies a serving of currywurst and schnitzel topped with mushrooms and garlic fries at German Knödle, 951 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
    Nutella-stuffed potato dumplings and rave reviews put German Knödle on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. list.
  2. Turkey Meatballs with hummus and an herby salad [MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    It comes together so fast for a weeknight dinner.
  3. St. Peterburg's iconic restaurant the Belmark was known as an inexpensive spot to grab a meal. [Times (1982)]
    Expect an updated take on classic diner fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  4. Kumquats that are yet to be harvested in the groves at Kumquat Growers, Inc. in Dade City. The local agriculture business provides fruit for the annual Kumquat Festival to be held Jan. 25 in downtown Dade City. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
    After years of crop decline, there will be more fresh fruit at this year’s annual Kumquat Festival.
  5. People waited overnight to be the first customers at the new Jollibee Pinellas Park location. It opened Friday. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    Long lines, happy dances, hot Chickenjoy. Pinellas Park scores the chain’s latest restaurant.
  6. St. Petersburg restaurant Brick & Mortar serves dishes like this miso-marinated black cod with broth of coconut milk and ginger, baby bok choy, sticky rice and house pickled jalapeno. [Times (2015)]
    It’s called Sea Worthy Fish + Bar.
  7. Dishes from some of Tampa Bay's most iconic restaurants. [Times files]
    Join us for a happy hour event on Jan. 30.
  8. This July 31, 2019, file photo shows an Impossible Whopper burger at a Burger King restaurant in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File) [BEN MARGOT  |  AP]
    The promotion is available for a limited time only at participating restaurants nationwide starting today.
  9. A rendering of Frenchy's To Go, which Frenchy's Restaurants hopes to launch in Clearwater this spring. [Courtesy of Frenchy's Corporate/Klar and Klar Architects and Interior Designers]
    The new facility in Clearwater will fill delivery, walkup and carryout orders.
  10. Shake Shack, featuring burgers, chicken sandwiches, crispy, crinkle-cut fries, frozen custard, and, yes, shakes, plans to open its first restaurant at Midtown Tampa. (Photo courtesy the Bromley Companies) [Photo courtesy the Bromley Companies]
    It will be the popular burger chain’s first restaurant in the Tampa Bay area and is targeted to open in time for the Super Bowl in February 2021.