The first time I moved away from Hawaii to go to school, I packed mostly clothes, books, and shoes. The second time I moved away, I packed the same things but also knew to include things like Kona coffee, Hawaiian salt, liquid smoke, and a few cans of corned beef and spam. Sounds crazy, but until you’ve lived somewhere that you can’t get any of that stuff, you don’t realize just how much food is a part of our local identity.
Each year when I would come back to Hawaii to visit, I would have my grocery list ready to go. If I could take back two bags, at least one was filled with just food. Then for the next year I would try to carefully ration out all my goodies. Of course, chocolate mac nuts, li hing candies, and arare didn’t last long, but having the ingredients to make Kalua Pork at any time just made me happy. And who cares if my Lomi lomi salmon was basically just salsa, only lomi, no salmon. It still had the right look on my plate.
We know what it’s like to miss Hawaii and all the local goodies that can only be found here, so for all those homesick Hawaiians out there here’s a coupon code for 10% off your next order: snackhawaii10
Photo: Hawaiian food made while living overseas. Don't judge my salmon-less lomi. A girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do. :)