Kalua pork and cabbage, mahimahi, poke, smoked marlin, shave ice, sticky rice, coconut syrup: I’m about one plate lunch away from busting open the seams of my bathing suit and I don’t even care. Hawaiian food is just too good.
Shacked up in a lovely condo on the beach in Kihei, Maui I’ve discovered that when you’re living a life of leisure you spend a lot of time discussing the simpler things: the clouds, the water, the wind (that’s a big topic of conversation here in Hawaii. Everyone eagerly awaits the arrival of the trade winds because they apparently bring the nice weather), but more important than all of that is what you’ll be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with various pupus (or snacks) in between. When we’re at breakfast diving into scrambled eggs and sticky rice or banana macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup (pictured here), we’re already mulling over what to treat ourselves to for dinner.
You see, there are just so many things you can’t get at home: kalua pig that’s roasted underground in a traditional imu (a pit full of red hot stones covered in ti leaves and mats to seal in the steam), fresh-out-of-the-water Hawaiian fish like opah (moonfish), opakapaka (pink snapper), monchong (a flaky white fish), walu (a fish that, according to our lunch waiter, is ‘too rich to fry’…really? Does such a thing exist?), ahi poke (cubes of marinated raw tuna…even the grocery store version of this will blow your mind), shave ice (the multi-coloured syrup-covered slush cones, which offer some relief from the afternoon heat), and the list goes on.
The Hawaiians, of course, have several words for utter deliciousness: “ono” or my personal favourite “broke da mout” (literally broke the mouth).
Thankfully my mouth is still fully functional because I’m starving (again). Now all I have to worry about is making sure I don’t break the zipper on my pants.