Traditional Hawaiian Foods
What are some traditional Hawaiian foods you'll eat when visiting the islands? What do you need to know about them?
No trip to paradise is complete without sampling some of the fine tastes that originated in Hawaii. Hawaiian foods are typically well prepared and dishes that you can’t stop eating. The staples of Hawaiian meals are meat of some sort, usually fish, pork, or chicken; vegetables grown in the islands; and plenty of fruits picked fresh from the island’s trees.
• Poi. Poi is grown on the islands. When you eat it, it’s a sticky paste that’s violet in color. The thicker it is, the better the quality it’s said to be. Poi is grown from a root that was said to be created by the Hawaiian gods when man was created. Many people who aren’t familiar and used to eating poi find the substance quite bland and disgusting. But natives like to eat it with something but can often be spotted eating it alone and talking about how delicious it is.
• Pu pu. Pu Pu is essentially small shellfish, but the direct translation is hors d’ouerves. Pu pu are delicious prepared small fish that are served before meals and eaten with your fingers.
• Kukui nuts. These are nuts that are grown on the island. These are treats that are eaten alone or with other foods.
• Limu. This is essentially seaweed that is eaten as salads during meals. Natives find the seaweed themselves in the ocean and mix it with their favorite vegetables as a salad.
• Haupia. This is one of the most popular desserts you’ll come across on the islands. It a custard-like sweet treat made from coconut. You won’t want to miss this one!
• Kalua. This is a term used to indicate any kinds of Hawaiian dishes that are cooked underground. This is a favorite of Hawaiians and provides a unique taste. The chef will wrap the meat in banana leaves and when whole animals are cooked all at once, their centers are removed and hot stones are placed inside.