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Planning the Manapua Madness

Planning the Manapua Madness forced us to be much more resourceful than even before. In particular, we had to figure out how to serve the manapuas to the judges as close to fresh as possible.

Challenge #1 - Most of the manapua shops close early...around 1pm on Saturdays so we had to pick em up early in the day and refrigerate.  So wasn't fresh as fresh can be.  So I was going microwave the manapuas with a wet paper towel on top to try get the steamed effect and then maybe would be almost like eating em fresh.  But then I got scoldings from couple people who told me "just re-steam!"  Sorry I not one trained chef so I never think of that! We borrowed two steamers from friends and used this as our reheating method.  Came out good as fresh. Soft bun and juicy tender pork filling.

Challenge #2 - We had to standardize the re-steaming process so no one manapua would get the upper hand. To solve this, I bought couple extra manapuas and did a test re-steam practice run before the judges arrived. I re-steamed the test manapuas and when they were hot enough, I took the internal temperature with a meat thermometer and saw that it was about 150 degrees.  Just before serving to the judges, we re-steamed the manapua competitors to an internal temperature of 150 degrees. This ended up giving us evenly heated manapuas. 

We did the same side by side judging style as the other challenges where all the manapuas were lined up with their random letter. Then the judges served themselves in any order and scored each one. We did weighted scoring again with taste=50%, texture=30% and presentation=20%.