hawaii special food and drinks
January 1, 2007 4:50am CST
Hawaii Food and Drink Hawaiian food is based on chicken, pork, seafood and local fruit and vegetables cooked using traditional methods. Special condiments and spices are used (see below). Much of the food available on the islands is basically American with oriental influences brought in by the assortment of ethnicities that make up the population. The classic traditional Hawaiian feast is the 'luau',based around a puaa kalua (whole pig) that has been shaved and rubbed with rock salt on the inside. It is then placed on chicken wire, filled with hot stones from the fire, and cooked in an imu (pit) along with sweet potatoes, plantains and sometimes laulaus (pork, butterfish and spinach-like taro shoots wrapped in leaves and steamed). The steam is prevented from escaping by encircling the pig with banana and coconut husks and taro leaves and covering the pit with wet burlap bags. The cooking process takes about 6 hours. The kaluapig is eaten with fingers and is accompanied by the traditional Hawaiian poi (thick paste made from ground taro), opihi (a salty, black, clam-like mollusck and lomi lomisalmon (salmon rubbed with an onion and tomato marinade). Chicken luau comprises tender chicken pieces cooked with taro tops and coconut cream. Garnishes include limu (seaweed), paakai rock salt and chopped roasted kukui nuts. Local seafood includes moi (mullet) ulua, opakapaka (pink snapper), lobster and yellow fin tuna. Hawaiian breakfast specialties are macadamia nuts and banana and coconut pancakes with coconut syrup. Fresh fruit and nut ice creams or sorbets make excellent desserts.