An area’s cuisine and staple dishes often speak to its geographic location. Hawaii is no different, and its multi-national history fused with its indigenous Polynesian heritage lends itself to a highly flavorful eclectic mix of Asian, European and Polynesian culinary fusion delightful to the palate.
The luau is perhaps one of the best examples of this blend of tradition, local talent and culture all rolled into a ceremony of traditional Hawaii cuisine and entertainment. Held outdoors at sunset, the luau is one of those “not to be missed” parts of any Hawaiian vacation. The ceremony begins by digging an imu, or pit in the sand fashioned with kiawe logs, rocks and banana leaves to form a slow cooking natural oven. A prepared pig and sweet potatoes are placed in the imu and roasted for 5-6 hours to golden, juicy perfection. However, the feast does not end there! At a luau, be prepared to also be presented with some of the island’s best traditional specialties, such as lomi salmon, prepared with tomatoes and onions and of course poi. Poi is a Polynesian staple made from cooking and mashing the taro root until a thick mixture is formed. Poi may be served with vegetables, seafood, rice and countless other Hawaiian dishes.
If wishing to indulge in fine Hawaii dining, Honolulu’s bustling downtown is a culinary delight for foodies and travelers alike, with virtually every ethnicity of food represented. Whether craving Thai food, a Eurasian blend or good old American hamburgers, downtown Honolulu offers an array of selections. However, for those who wish to indulge in traditional Hawaii cuisine, there are many upscale Polynesian restaurants offering the best in the region’s fresh vegetables, fruit and seafood prepared in traditional Hawaiian style and served with the famous Aloha spirit.