Island Cuisine


About Kikaha by Island Air 10 – Fall 2016
Ask any traveler what they can’t wait for when they are headed to Hawai‘i, and odds are they will say the beach. On the way out, ask what they will miss, and a new answer may have taken the lead—the food. Island cuisine offers an array of cultural flavors invented right here by Native Hawaiians pre-Western contact, and brought here by many diverse communities since the 1800s. Mouthwatering mashups of these diverse cuisines also abound. Take, for example, the farm stall Makakau ‘Ai Kakou—which serves kulolo paletas, a combination of Mexican popsicle and Hawaiian dessert made with kalo (taro)—or the vegetarian restaurants around O‘ahu who pull from Italian, Hawaiian, Japanese, and American traditions. Often, the ingredients used—and the community behind these ingredients—are what make these dishes something to write home about: fish caught fresh from the ocean, produce harvested from nearby lands, even honey collected from bees that frequent kiawe and ‘ōhi‘a trees. Dig deep enough into what you are eating, and chances are you will learn something new about the islands. This issue shares just a taste of what you can take in.

On the Cover
Photographer Mike Coots met up with Keli‘i Alapai for a session of net fishing in Hā‘ena on Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i’s first community-based subsistence fishing area. Alapai was among those who led the charge for this designation, which aims to perpetuate Hawaiian traditions and promote sustainable practices.