|Pretty Rambutan - locally grown fruit with an inside similar to a mild grape.
We're always asked about the food when we return from a trip abroad. "What did you try, did you like it?" Well, we're still in the USA housesitting in the state of Hawaii, but when we look at some of the items offered on local restaurant menus it almost feels like we are in a foreign country. There are different dishes here, dishes that are influenced by the cultures (Polynesian, Asian, Hawaiian) that have made Hawaii their home and shaped by what food has traditionally been available here in the islands.
Then, of course, there is SPAM. No menu would be complete without a SPAM dish. Maybe we should say SPAM dishes as there are so many made with it - casseroles, salads, soups, sandwiches, sushi and burgers. Both Burger King and McDonald's serve SPAM. Why is it so popular in the islands? SPAM (basically a canned chopped pork) was introduced by the military during WWII when fresh meat was scarce. Surpluses were distributed to the locals, incorporated into their daily meals, and it has been a well loved staple ever since.
What do you wash it all down with? POG. A sweet concoction of pineapple, orange and guava juices that's fine on its own but really, really good mixed with some rum and topped by a little paper parasol!
Interested in trying some loco moco? Guy Fieri featured his version on Guy's Big Bite and provides his recipe here. How about going all the way and hosting your own luau? The Polynesian Cultural Center has all the recipes you'll need for the dishes mentioned above plus more. Now you just need to find a whole pig and start digging....