Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Hawaiian Food is That?

One of my favorite things in the whole world is food. After working at Sydney Fish Market for a number of years I developed my palate and my cooking cooking skills. Now, I am passionate about healthy, locally grown produce (although I do enjoy the bad things from time to time!). In Hawaii, a lot of produce is grown locally, and being surrounded by water is the perfect setting for fresh seafood. Many ingredients have to be shipped to the Islands as they do not grow there and Hawaii does not have land avilable to grow more crops. However sugar cane, pineapples, papaya and seafood are plentiful. Hawaii also has an amazing selection of 'local' foods, which I wanted to share so that if you are going to Hawaii, and you see these items on the menu you won't be shy to ask for them! All these foods are common in plate lunches and at luaus.

Bento: Japanese Lunch Box
Haupia: Creamy coconut pudding, usually served in squares (a popular luau dessert)
Kalua Pork: Pork slow-cooked in an underground oven. Often served as a pulled kalua pork sandwich
Lilikoi - Passionfruit
Lumpia: The Portuguese version of a spring roll, but spicier, doughier and deep fried
Poi: The root of the taro pounded into a starchy paste; this is a staple of the Hawaiian diet, however I have not tried it as I heard it is rather unpleasant
Poke: Cubed raw fish, seasoned with onions, soy and seaweed (I have a great poke recipe from Sam Choy on my blog)
Ponzu: A soy and citrus flavored dipping sauce popular with regional cuisine chefs
Shave Ice: The Hawaiian version of a Snow Cone

A Picture of Poi - it doesn't look overly inviting

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