Hawaiian Island Cuisine
Once considered something of a culinary backwater, Hawaii found its way to the center of the fine-dining universe with the advent of Pacific Rim cuisine — a melding of European techniques with familiar ingredients of Asia and the Pacific, many of which are now grown (or herded, or netted) at home in the Islands.
Even so, the base of Hawaii’s food triangle is much broader than its most visible tip. Every ethnic group that emigrated here over the last century has added its own flavors to an already simmering pot. Along with such traditional Hawaiian staples as poi and laulau (pork or fish wrapped in taro leaves and baked in an earthen oven), there is adobo (braised chicken or pork) from the Philippines and kim chee (pickled cabbage) from Korea; mochi (glutinous rice cake) from Japan and char siu (barbecued pork) from China.
Throughout the Islands, restaurants serve the native cuisine of such far-flung destinations as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Europe and even the American South! One can also find every sort of libation here, from Asian tea and fine imported sake to some of the world’s best locally grown coffees, boutique microbrewed beers and several varieties of wine made from grapes grown in the lush upland vineyards of Maui and the Big Island.
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