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Pineapple –  the aloha fruit.

Even if you’ve never visited the islands of Hawaii, you’re familiar with its images of its tropical flowers, pristine beaches, year-round warm sunshine, and an abundance of pineapple. Like the many blended cultures that makeup Hawaii – this beautiful golden sweet fruit is not a native. And ever since Captain Cook brought the pinecone-shaped fruit from South America – the pineapple has become a beloved native symbol. Like the hibiscus flower, the image of this luscious fruit is one of the most distinctive of Hawaii – it is at once friendly and inviting – evoking the charm and friendly uniqueness of the aloha spirit.
 
Images of the famed fruit appear on everything from clothing, to household items and souvenirs – paying homage to what was once one of Hawaii’s greatest export items. Today the pineapple is popular throughout the world and its tropical flavor is used to compliment everything from grilled meats and cake to pizza. Here at King’s Hawaiian we, and our ohana are all big fans of the traditional fruit, so you’ll find it featured in many recipes on our site.
 
Hawaiian Poi and Poke.

Hawaiian food is the ultimate in “fusion cuisine” with broad appeal, due to its infusion of essential ingredients from so many cultures. Immigration from Portugal, China, Philippines, neighboring islands, Japan and the mainland – all influenced the modern day Hawaiian cuisine. Even our own tasty original King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread is a blend of a Portuguese recipe, with added Hawaiian tropical flavor.
 
In ancient Hawaii, farming of the existing crops such as Taro root and the introduction of new vegetation were influenced by geographic conditions – making them unique to the islands. Hawaiian Poi is made from plant stem the sacred Taro root, and sustained the original Hawaiian people for centuries. The taro is baked or steamed until it is thick almost like a soup. Hawaiian Poi is often called “two-finger” or “three-finger” depending on its consistency and how many fingers are required to eat it. This traditional and ancient Polynesian dish can be compared to what potatoes are to Ireland or Idaho – or what rice is to Asia – or pasta to Italy. Poi is served at every Hawaiian function, and in ancient Hawaii Poi was more than a food staple – it was a sacred part of Hawaiian daily life. With the serving of Poi at family meals, it was believed that the spirit of Haloa – the ancestor of the Hawaiian people, was present. This also meant that any conflict between family members must cease. And thereby, the peace of Aloha and Ohana was evoked through the simple Taro root, Poi. 
 
Because ancient Hawaiians relied on the sea and land to sustain their needs, meals always included seafood as well. The influence of sushi has helped to make the Hawaiian dish Poke, extremely popular. Served as an appetizer, Poke is made of cubed yellowtail tuna (ahi) marinated with sea salt, soy sauce, roasted kakui nuts, sesame oil, limu seaweed, and chopped chili pepper. Though there are countless variations on this recipe, all are tasty and sure to disappear quickly. The rise in popularity and exposure of sushi to the Mainland has helped to make Poke a very popular dish among visitors and local restaurants.