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Local Grinds

a plate of food with rice meat and vegetables

In order to get the full experience when coming to the islands, you also have to try the staple dishes craved by locals. These seven staple foods include white rice, lau lau, poi, lomi lomi salmon, kalua pork and chicken long rice. These can often be found together on what’s called a “mixed plate” at certain spots on the island.

What is Poi?

Poi is made from the root of the taro plant and is the one of the most sacred traditional foods of the Hawaiian’s. It’s a complex carbohydrate containing vitamin A and healthy fat. It’s purple in color and a green light for those who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease. We suggest pairing it with the saltier foods such as kalua pork.

What is Kalua Pork?

Traditionally, meats such as kalua pork, were baked in an underground oven called an imu. In fact, the translation for kalua is “to cook underground”. It’s a slow roast process which produces a melt in your mouth perfection. It’s wrapped in order to keep it’s moisture and cooked with a modern liquid smoke or hardwood smoke touch that adds to the flavor.

What is Lau Lau?

Lau Lau’s can be made with fish, chicken or pork. It’s slow steamed meat wrapped in the leaves of the taro plant with an outer layer of Ti leaves. Taro leaves give a similar experience to steamed spinach with a richer buttery finish. This tasty bundle is often served “plate lunch” style with a side of white rice and macaroni salad.

What is Lomi Lomi Salmon?

Lomi lomi salmon is a simple mixture that delivers an explosion of flavor. Made with salted salmon, Maui sweet onion, tomato and green onion, it is served as a cold salad. Other ingredients commonly added are diced cucumber and chili pepper flakes.