||This Month's Featured
culinary styles found on the islands of Hawaii are a delicious expression
of the the region's rich and diverse culture and heritage, as well as
a reflection of its exotic tropical location. Throughout history, immigrants
have brought with them to the island their own recipes, ingredients,
and methods of food preparation, some of which have fused together to
create unique fare with a taste all its own.
The cooks of Hawaii pride themselves on creating culinary masterpieces
prepared with only the freshest ingredients, most of which are found
locally, either growing amongst the islands' lush vegetation or caught
from the surrounding ocean waters. The farmers and fishermen of the
islands provide harvests of fresh seafoods like salmon, seaweed, and
lobster, as well as tropical fruits and vegetables including plump tomatoes,
savory herbs, lettuces, coconuts, pineapples, papaya and many more.
Hawaiians also use a number of meats in their food preparation, particularly
lamb, pork, and beef. The rich volcanic soils and well-stocked waters
make the islands a cornucopia of delicious foods and fresh ingredients.
Hawaiian cuisine embodies a variety of world cultures, and its regional
foods include fusions of Euro-Asian, Pacific Rim, Indo-Pacific, and
Sapodilla, soursop, and rambutan are just a few of the many exotic fruits
introduced to the Aloha Islands from Southeast Asia. Other dishes that
have been influenced by Asian cultures include fresh fruit sauces made
with mango, litchi, papaya, pineapple, guava fruits; sake sauces; ginger-sesame-wasabi
flavorings; fish and tamarind sauces; and an assortment of seasoning
and spices. Here are some other dishes and ingredients that have been
borrowed from the Asian culture and added to the cuisine of Hawaii:
- Five-spice powder - used in Chinese
cuisine, particular Cantonese food, which has sweet, sour, bitter,
pungent, and salty flavors; it is made up of powdered cassia buds,
powdered star anise and anise seed, ginger root, and ground cloves,
- Char siu - Chinese barbecued, or fork
- Wasabi - Japanese horseradish
- Tofu - Chinese bean curd
- Sushi - Japanese food made of vinegared
rice mixed with other toppings or fillings, which are most commonly
- Bagoong Terong - originated in the
Philippines, and is a common ingredient made of fermented salted bonnet
mouth fish, and uses as a flavor enhancer
- Dim Sum - a Chinese delicacy, dim
sum is seafood, pork hash, and vegetables in a translucent wrap, and
served for breakfast and lunch
Other International Influences
Along with Asian influences, several other
international cultures have contributed to the tastes of Hawaiian food.
Here are a few unlikely ingredients that are very popular in the islands:
- Patis - Swedish fish sauce
- Jícama - a legume native to
Central America that is cultivated for its edible taproot; the other
parts are poisonous
- Spam - canned meat that tastes like
ham and is often prepared in a similar manner
When the Polynesians came to the Hawaiian Islands
around 600 or 700 A.D., they brought with them many types of food ingredients
that were not native to the islands. As the originators of Hawaii's
culture, the Polynesians have had the most influence on the regional
culinary style. Most Polynesian dishes are based on fruits and vegetables
and thus naturally low in fat, a trait that characterized Hawaiian cuisine
until the arrival of European settlers who brought pigs to the islands.
Seafood is the staple of most meals, as the islanders relied on the
ocean as their major source of sustenance. For celebratory events, Hawaiians
often have big feasts called lu'aus.
Bento is a compact boxed meal served throughout
the islands of Hawaii. This picnic-type meal usually includes arranged
sections of rice, pickled vegetables, and fried chicken, beef, or pork.
Bento is also available in vegetarian-style, made with brown-rice. This
quick meal originated from Japanese immigrants who worked in the pineapple
and sugarcane fields, and were available everywhere, from department
stores to corner delis and supermarkets.
Plate lunches are similar to bentos in that
they are a very casual meal. Plate lunches are purchased from lunch
wagons, and made of fried mahimahi,"two scoops rice," macaroni
salad, and a few leaves of green, which are usually julienned cabbage.
The favorite condiment used for plate lunches is a thick gravy, and
to wash it all down, a canned soda on the side.
Native Desserts, Beverages, and More
Along with delicious main courses, Hawaii
also has its own signature beverages and desserts.
- Kona Coffee - is a coffee grown on
Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the North and South Kona Districts
of the Big Island; the weather patterns here are conducive for the
growing of coffee, which can only be cultivated in certain climates.
- Loco Moco - a traditional Hawaiian
dish made of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg,
- Poke - Fish salad served as an appetizer.
- Manapua - a doughy bread ball filled
with sweetened pork or sweet beans.
- Shaved Ice - similar to a snow cone,
this is an island favorite, especially on very hot days; finely shaved
ice is topped with tropical sweet syrups.
There is so much variety when comes to dining in Hawaii
that vacationers may feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a dish
to sample during their stay. – Hawaii-Guide.Info
Hawaiian Popular Recipes