Hawaii's Melting Pot
Fresh Papaya at the Kapiolani Farmers Market
To understand food in Hawaii, you first have to understand Hawaii's cultural melting pot. Since the first written records in the 1800's people from all over the world have settled in Hawaii and brought with them their cultures and their cuisine. Heck, we even have a blond haired blue eyed Russian bus driver named Alex that speaks fluent Japanese. So, I would say Hawaii has all bases covered as to multiethnic cuisine.
Kapiolani Farmers Market
on Saturday Mornings is one of the best locations to try multiethnic foods. Explore and you will find a fresh cup of Hawaiian Coffee to go with French Pastries & Baguettes or try Fried Green Tomatoes served with a Basil Lime Dipping Sauce, Indian Curries, Pickled Mango, a Spam Musubi, locally made goat's cheeses and even a aqua cultured mollusk called Abalone that sells for over $100.00 per serving in restaurants.
Hawaiian Plate Lunch
Hawaiian Plate Lunches
which consist of two scoops of short grain sticky rice, mayonnaise based macaroni salad and your choice of meat served in a Styrofoam container all started when immigrant workers arrived in the islands to work on the agricultural plantations. They were from many different ethnicities and during lunch would share the fare that their wives had sent for that day. Thus the words "mixed plate" where everyone had rice but would share Fresh Island Fish, Korean Style Short Ribs, Japanese Teriyaki Chicken, Chinese Char Sui Pork or Hawaiian Kalua Pork. It's not the healthiest of meals but everyone should have the plate Lunch Experience.
Hawaiian Shave Ice
in Hawaii was also introduced by immigrants of Japan. It is a treat that dates back to 800 A.D. where it was only served to royalty. Even in the plantation days of ole Hawaii it was only served on Sundays but now thank goodness it's available on almost every corner store in the islands. It's a no ka oi (the best) experience only found in Hawaii.
Hawaii Regional Cuisine
Hawaii Regional Cuisine
has grown to include the terms Pacific Rim, Euro Asian and Asian Fusion just to name a few. The movement was originally started by 12 chefs focusing on locally grown produce, island fish, pork, beef and cheeses which are then creatively melded together with delectable sauces to create extraordinary treats for foodie visitors to the islands. The numbers of chefs and locations have expanded but like everything in Hawaii, they are not pretentious but always casually enjoyable.