Because you all seemed to love A Hawaii Food Bucket List (From a Local), I decided to make a part 2! So here are a few more local foods to try in Hawaii.
Locally-grown Acai Bowl from Kahuku Farms
For some reason, many people hold the misconception that acai bowls originated in Hawaii. While this is not the case, Hawaii is the prime climate for growing acai berries. So while you’re here, why not have an acai bowl made from locally grown acai berries? At Kahuku Farms, they do just that, topping the acai mixture off with some tasty granola and tart lilikoi butter.
These miniature bananas are so much sweeter and smoother than normal bananas. They are a must-try while you are on the islands.
*Tip: if there are small brown spots on the peel of apple bananas, the inside should still be unaffected.
Not only do Mauna Loa macadamia nuts make a fantastic souvenir, they make a tasty (and filling) snack to try while you’re on island. They have tons of fun flavors, from Kona coffee to mango chipotle to honey sriracha to Maui onion and garlic. My personal favorite is the honey roasted macadamia nuts.
100% Kona Coffee
In all honesty, 100% Kona Coffee should’ve made it onto the first list. But since I’m not a coffee drinker, I didn’t think to add it. Grab some from a local grocery store to take home or stop by a local coffee shop, like Island Vintage Coffee, for a taste.
Lomi Lomi Salmon
Lomi lomi salmon is a dish typically found at luaus. It’s basically a mixture of diced, raw salmon with diced tomatoes and onions.
Instead of putting extra butter or cheese powder on popcorn, many locals choose to put the Hawaiian Hurricane topping on it instead. This mixture combines Japanese arare (small rice crackers) and nori (seaweed) flakes with the usual buttery topic for a completely different popcorn experience.
I’m a bit of a honey fanatic. Whenever I see a new type of honey, I buy it (assuming it’s not some absurd price). And despite the dozens of different types of honey I’ve tried – from avocado to Australian to sunflower to Swiss to ginger – the ohia lehua blossom honey from Big Island Bees is my absolute favorite. If you come at the right time of year, you may be able to find a 47-ounce counter from Costco at a decent price. If not, many tourist shops that also sell food may sell very small containers of this honey for you to try.
Lilikoi is the Hawaiian word for passion fruit. When you’re searching the island for some fresh lilikoi (trust me, it’ll be quite the struggle), you have to call it “lilikoi,” not “passion fruit” (most people have no idea that both terms refer to the same fruit – here are more local words you need to know before visiting Hawaii). If its passion fruit season, your best option for trying to find lilikoi is at a farmers market – KCC (Kapiolani Community College) has quite the large selection. However, if you don’t find any there, go hiking on the Maunawili Falls trail and pick some!
Mochiko chicken is kind of like an Asian spin on fried chicken. The chicken is typically coated in mochiko (rice flour), soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and green onion before it is fried.
Here’s a recipe from Foodland, a local grocery store, if you want to make it at home.
But What If I’m Not Coming to Hawaii Any Time Soon? How Can I Try These Hawaii Food Bucket List at Home?
Want to have some of these local foods to try in Hawaii while you’re at home? I HIGHLY recommend purchasing Maui local, Alana Kysar’s cookbook, Aloha Kitchen. In it, Kysar documents all of the recipes that Hawaii locals love! Written by one Hawaii local, and recommended by another – how much better could this Hawaii cookbook get?
Any more local foods to try in Hawaii that I missed in both part 1 and part 2? Write about them below in the comments!
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