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A travel experience is not complete without sampling some of the traditional cuisines. Won’t Run and I enjoyed the local foods and drinks on our recent visit to Kauai! In fact, I think we could live on Ahi Poke! I think we could bathe in Ahi Poke!
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Mai Tai – the welcome drink – think of this nectar (made of rum, pineapple juice and orange juice) as a liquid lei with an umbrella. The Mai Tais pictured below were served on our flight to Hawaii.
2. Macadamia Nuts – those delicious nuts – for me the “you can’t eat just one” nuts – buy them at stores like Costco or Walmart rather than the ABC stores. They are available in many flavors – from chocolate covered to onion to wasabi.
Warning: Macadamias are toxic for dogs. see, Wikipedia.
Note: Costco and Walmart are known to sell much more than just Macadamia nuts – they have a full selection of Hawaiian souvenirs and food items for far less than most tourist shops.
3. Speaking of Costco, I found Hershey Kisses with Macadamia Nuts there! Yum!
4. Real Coconut Water – I’m a big fan of coconut water, so when I get a chance to drink it right from a coconut, I go for it. On our drive to the North Shore of Kauai, Won’t Run and I stopped in Kapaa at a fruit stand, where the lady asked us to choose our coconut and she proceeded to whack the top off of it with a machete, and hand us the coconut with two straws in it!
5. Ahi Poke – this had to be our favorite. If you like Sushi or Sashimi, you’ll love Poke! Poke typically consists of cubed raw ʻahi (yellowfin tuna) marinated with sea salt, a small amount of soy sauce… and other variations of ingredients. Won’t Run and I fell in love with Ahi Poke. It was so fresh and delicious. I truly believe I could eat it every day and be happy. Our favorite Poke, we bought at the Foodland Supermarket in Princeville. One-half pound was with soy sauce and scallions, the other half pound was “spicy” with a mayo base. We also bought some good Poke at the Koloa Fish Market in Koloa.
Hawaii is known for its Shrimp Trucks – Food Trucks that sell fresh local shrimp prepared in a variety of ways, but most commonly with garlic and butter and/or hot and spicy. The shrimp is typically served on paper plates with a side of rice.
Won’t Run and I discovered Savage Shrimp – a truck turned restaurant, located in the Kukui’ula Village Shopping Center. We went here twice and had the garlic shrimp each time. Believe it or not, this was also my pre-marathon dinner (I ordered an extra portion of rice that night).
7. Taro Chips. Taro is grown in Hawaii. A hostess at the Kauai Grand Hyatt gave us a package of these chips as a gift.
8. Kauai Coffee! Thank god for coffee!
9. Beer! Hawaii is not at a loss for locally brewed craft beers. Take a look at this website: Beer in Hawaii.
10. Shave Ice. This is a traditional ice-based desert similar to a snow cone. I first had my first Shave Ice at one of the refreshment stops during the Maui Marathon last year – it was rainbow-colored, sweet and amazingly refreshing, especially after running about 17 miles in the heat. Shave Ice comes in a variety of local Hawaiian fruit flavors (such as Guava, Mango and Coconut) and is available at shops all over Hawaii. One such shop is Hawaiian Blizzard Shave Ice in Kapaa.
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