Hawaii Dining and Restaurants!
Understanding Pupus, Hapuupuu And Other Food
Small plates, or appetizers, are called pupus in Hawaii.
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel & Food Editor
Eating in Hawaii is almost as much fun as drinking here.
As one would expect from an island, fresh seafood is a specialty. Fresh fruits – some unique to Hawaii – are also plentiful.
When it comes to fish, Hawaii has a language all it's own. One of the most popular varieties is mahi mahi, or dolphin fish. Ahi is yellowfin tuna, hapuupuu is groper, onaga is red snapper and ono is wahoo (or king mackerel). In some dishes, the fish (or other meats) are wrapped in leaves.
There are other specialties. Poke is pieces of marinated raw fish, often served with edible seaweed called limi. Lomi Lomi is pounded raw salmon with onion and tomatoes.
Hawaii is famous for the luau, a pig roast beach party. For tourists, these are mostly staged events at major hotels.
Another custom preferred by locals is the imu. This is a large pit heated by volcano coals and covered with banana leaves. Inside, a pig or turkey is smoked to juicy perfection overnight.
Pupus (also written as two words, pu pu) are appetizers.
One type of meal favored by locals but hardly even known by visitors is the plate lunch. This is a full meal of beef or chicken served with "chowfun" (Hawaiian noodles) and white rice. For about $5, it's the best food bargain in Hawaii.
But you won't find it as a selection in restaurants; it's served at specific plate lunch establishments or out of the mobile lunch carts scattered throughout the islands. You'll notice them crowded with locals.
One food item that is easier to find is the macadamia nut. This is a true taste of Hawaii, but eat too many of them and it will be difficult fitting into that bikini.