posted by M.L. Sanico

It’s my inaugural post and I thought I’d start with something we consider a priority here in Hawai’i… food!

Food is an important part of our cultural identity here in the islands–the only place you’ll find such unique multi-ethnic concotions as Spam Musubi and Poi Mochi. Ohana is also important and we express our love for each other through food and celebration. Holiday dinners usually include sushi, poke and lumpia in addition to the traditional western fare because we just gotta have variety! And since everyone brings something, even if you tell them ‘no need’, you inevitably wind up with an ecclectic mish-mash of yummy things.  

Cookbooks are among Hawaii’s most well known contributions to the world of publishing and I thought I’d take a look at one of the recent releases.

Hawai’i’s Party Food by Muriel Miura is the perfect book for anyone wishing to jazz up some of our local favorites. The recipes are quite innovative but some of them are not meant for novice home-chefs (like myself). What’s best about this book is that it really covers the gamet. All ages and palates will find something to enjoy so don’t let the section titled “Canapes and Sandwiches” intimidate you. The directions are clear and the pictures are gorgeous! The book as a whole is well produced, colorful and just the right size for the kitchen!

I tried my hand at the “Stuffed Cocktail Puffs” with crab filling on page 46. After some questionable “puffs” came out of the oven I finally conceded defeat. Apparently I did not put enough vigor into the “stir vigorously” directions. But all was not lost! Since I live in a multi-generational home, I handed over the apron to the real cook in the house…my father. He had no trouble whipping up the crab stuffed puffs and even had some ideas of his own (the man loves Japanese curry, and I’m convinced he plots to put it on everything). So luckily, the house was spared my soggy “puffs”.

If you’re interested in local recipes Muriel Miura is the author of several popular local cookbooks such as Cookies From Hawai’i’s Kitchen which I have had my eye on for awhile.

Also, here is one of the best resources for local food and pupu recipes I’ve been able to find: Lindy’s Ono Recipes Blog is awesome! Get ready to be hungry just reading it! Not to mention the enticing pictures (warning: this site has A LOT of them! :)).