One of the many joys about Hawaii was the fact that the food was so different. It was amazing to still be in the United States and still have such a unique experience when it came to the foods that were available. Maybe I was too sheltered on the mainland but I opened myself up to many new experiences in Hawaii and food was one of them. Some of these unique foods I have already posted, such as shave ice. Granted, "shaved ice" exists on the mainland but the shave ice experience is a lot different on the islands. The option of topping it with condensed milk, for example, was foreign to me before moving here.
When I first got to Hawaii one of the surprising things I noticed was the McDonalds and how some of the menu items were completely different. Apple pie...we all know apple pie is available at McDonalds but Taro Pies were the option in Hawaii! What is Taro, you might ask? Taro is a "root vegetable" that is used to make several different items. Taro chips for example are amazing and if you ever see them, try them. Taro is used to make poi, which is very big in Hawaii. Poi is usually available at a luau and it should be tried but I was not really a fan of it. It is the consistency of pudding and is purple-grayish in color. It tasted a little bland for my liking. Malasadas are similar to doughnuts and the taro flavored malasadas tasted amazing and have such a pretty purple color on the inside.
It's a little hard to see the purple color in this photo posted above. The taro pie did not last the whole time I was in Hawaii though, they replaced it at one point with the haupia pie, which means coconut. Several restaurants had haupia flavored options, such as a syrup instead of the usual maple syrup for pancakes and waffles.
The first time I went into a grocery store, the amount of soy sauce on one aisle cracked me up. I had never seen so many choices for soy sauce before, or shoyu as it is also called.
The photo is not one of my best but I felt a little odd taking a photo of soy sauce, so it came out a little blurry. The grocery stores also had lots of options for seafood. Fresh fish was everywhere and some of the fish were huge! I was not used to that at my local grocery store back home! Speaking of fish, the sushi was phenomenal, which was to be expected.
I tried hand rolls for the first time, which are pictured below on the right.
When Holli was in town, we went and had sushi. I usually have to get things I know I like but Holli suggested we try the chefs choice, which came out with several different pieces of sushi. I'm glad she suggested it because it made me branch out and try something new like the uni, which is sea urchin. That was my only time eating it and I was not really a fan of it but there are foods I love now that I did not like years ago so maybe it will grow on me as well.
The uni is picutred above and on the far left.
Ikura is pictured below, the orange balls. Ikura is salmon eggs. That is one that I actually really love.
Some of the other food that I experienced for the first time was chicken cartiledge, beef tongue, chicken heart. I figured while I was there, I should try it!
We also found a place that had habushu....what is that you ask? It is alcohol where a venoumous snake is placed in the alcohol. We tried this and goodness was it strong!
There it is! We were brave and once was enough to ever have that drink!
On a positive note there were refreshing and delicious foods to try as well. I had my first acai bowl in Waikiki pictured below.
Now that was delicious and I could eat it every day. I lucked out with some delicious southern food that was available on the island but unfortunately has closed now.
That deliciousness below ended up being my goodbye gift at work on my last night of work. The food really was amazing in this state. There are so many foods I tried and never took photos of but Hawaii is such a great place to go outside of your comfort zone with foods!