Whether you’re on the lookout for some must-not-miss treats for your upcoming trip to Hawaii, or you’re a self-proclaimed foodie looking to try something new, Hawaiian cuisine is like no other. Hawaii is made up of tropical islands, and it boasts an exciting mish-mash of cultures. From Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino to Portuguese and Tahitian, the cuisine of Hawaii has many influences due to the immigration and settlement in the islands over the years. Here are a few local delicacies that you need to try when visiting the beautiful Hawaiian islands.
A visit to Hawaii isn’t complete without a taste of Kalua pig. The traditional method of making this delicacy is to salt a whole pig, cover it with leaves then bake it in an underground oven filled with kindling and hot rocks, such as basalt and lava. This infamous dish requires hours of work, but the end result is remarkable. When the Kalua pig has been slow-roasted for many hours, the meat is tender and smoky. This dish is a real culinary delight and can often be sampled at luaus alongside other delicious treats.
Poke is a dish made up of raw, marinated fish that has been chopped up into bite-sized chunks and poke bowls have become synonymous with the Hawaiian islands. Poke was originally prepared by native Polynesians and was then jazzed up with condiments introduced by Japanese and Chinese immigrants in later years. Nowadays, it is often served alongside fresh vegetables on top of a bed of rice. Maui is the culinary epicenter of Hawaiian cuisine, and you will find varied poke bowls all over this stunning island. Furthermore, in Maui, Hawaii resorts can offer you the opportunity to try out poke bowls and a number of other delicacies as part of an all-inclusive package.
Mahi Mahi is a white fish with sweet undertones, and it is available in abundance around Hawaii. This versatile fish is popular off the barbecue, in fish tacos, or simply baked with garlic and lemon. Mahi-mahi is hearty yet lean and can be enjoyed with refreshing mango salsa or a leafy side salad.
Any epicurean adventure in Hawaii should feature this infamous dish. Poi is a starchy, Polynesian dish that is made with pounded taro root. With a thick viscous consistency and a purple-gray color, it isn’t the most aesthetically-pleasing dish in Hawaii. However, the earthy, sweet flavor, and the fact that it is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients, make poi a popular dish for both dinner and dessert.
Most people have seen this cocktail grace the menus in bars and restaurants, but they probably do not know the origin story of the Blue Hawaii. This cocktail was originally invented in 1957 by the head bartender of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Harry Yee, in Waikiki. He thought up this concoction when a sales rep from Bols asked him to craft a drink using blue Curaçao. Decades later and this tropical cocktail is still as popular as ever.
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