And Elvis Presley.
And Bruno Mars and me.
Oh and Magnum PI, too.
Do you know what we have all had in common?
Well it’s not dancing and it’s not singing
Yeah, I’ve heard that Tom Selleck sing.
No, what we have in common is that at one time or another we have all come under the spell of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Waikiki, North shore. Hanauma Bay. Emerald seas. Diamond Head. Yes, Oahu is truly a land of enchantment.
Story goes that this treat came with Japanese workers who immigrated to the Hawaiian Islands and brought this traditional dessert where they would shave ice from large blocks of ice using Japanese swords.
Though you won’t see swords a swinging anymore, this dessert is still made by shaving a block of ice rather than using the crushed ice as they do here in the mainland. The fine, snow like ice absorbs the syrups making a taste sensation that will have you craving for more.
And I encourage you to do so.
Now Let’s Talk Spam
Can you keep a secret? Just between you and me.
I like Spam
But I go a little incognito shopping for it in my hometown. You know sunglasses, hat, and fake mustache. But in Hawaii, you can come out of the tin and go public! In fact besides Hawaii, Spam is a staple across the Pacific. For example it is estimated on average each person on Guam consumes about 16 tins of Spam per year with Hawaii close behind. The residents of the state of Hawaii consume the most Spam per capita in the United States.
Sometimes called Hawaiian Steak, Spam was first introduced during the Second World War when fresh meat was difficult to get to soldiers on the front. Soldiers then referred to Spam as Special Army Meat. Surplus in supplies led to an integration of the pork shoulder meat into local diets.
And now the Ahi Poke Nachos
This was one of the great dishes we had while we were in Oahu and we had it at the Moana Surfrider Hotel. Also known as the First Lady of Waikiki, the Moana Surfrider is a famous historic hotel on the island of Oahu.
Built in the late 1800’s as the first hotel in Waikiki, the Moana opened its doors to guests in 1901. The first guests were a group of Shriners who paid $1.50 per night for their rooms.
Try finding coffee in Waikiki for that price today.
The North shore in Ohau happens to be loaded with food trucks with shrimp being the predominant dish offered.
I’m a pie guy. I’m a chocolate guy. And now I’m a haupia guy.
Ted gets a standing O for bringing these flavors together into what is one GREAT pie. Haupia is a coconut milk based creamy dessert that is actually a stiff pudding. Ted’s flaky, buttery crust is filled with a layer of rich, smooth dark chocolate custard cream, then filled with another layer of haupia topped with whipped cream. Oh yum! We were recommended to try this pie while on the island and with all our business we almost missed it. But an alert daughter saw them and brought back a couple of pies for all to enjoy. Again, thank you daughter. Somebody raised you right.
You can find Ted's Pies at their restaurant or at select area markets.
The island is called paradise and indeed it was for us. We ate like Hawaiian kings and queens. We surfed its ocean curls. We swam with turtles. Snorkeled and hiked Manoa Falls. We were mesmerized by a lightning storm. And we were held in awe watching the sun draw it's day to an end over the Pacific. With all the laughter and fun and activities, in the end Hawaii was about making connections. Making connections with the ones we love in mind and heart and soul. Weaving the threads that bind us to one another and strengthening what we mean to each other. This can and should happen wherever we live and are. For us, we had the pleasure of Oahu being part of that experience.