Hawaiian staples such as poi and kalua pig are a unique part of Hawaii’s culinary scene.
But we’ve got our own brand of only-in-Hawaii snacks and foods that aren’t found in many places (save for the communities of ex-Islanders scattered across the country).
Snacks like popcorn and kakimochi.
It’s tough explaining to folks on the Mainland that the theaters in Hawaii sell shoyu rice crackers with buttered popcorn — and provide a waxed paper-line box for it.
Or that every McDonald’s in the state serves saimin and fruit punch.
Or that you’d find boiled peants — not roasted peanuts — at baseball games.
Only in Hawaii.
It’s one of my favorite things about living here, that we can have such a distinct flavor of food we identify with. It’s something we take with us wherever we go outside the Islands, packing the Ziploc of mochi crunch or adding li hing powder to wedges of pineapples.
And yes, we try to order fruit punch at McD’s and rice with our chili.
Any other foods — or food combos — only found in Hawaii? We should start a list — then open a restaurant in Vegas! Who’s in?