When you talk Hawaiian food with just about anyone, you’ll mostly be speaking of pigs or fish. There’s an off chance that a person who has been to Hawaii will have partaken of some poi or other traditional dish, but for the most part not a lot of people have experienced the true range of Hawaiian cuisine.

That’s unfortunate, because there are a lot of delectable dishes unique to Hawaii, a blend of indigenous traditions and settler’s culture. Don’t head out for Indian or sushi until you’ve had a few meals that include these excellent Hawaiian dishes.

  • Barbecue sticks: Pork is not the only meat in town! Hawaii is also home to a few large cattle ranches, found mostly on the Big Island. Beef, chicken and, yes, pork are marinated in teriyaki sauce and then spitted on sticks – the perfect treat for your inner carnivore!
  • Donkey balls: Don’t worry, it’s just an Island way of poking fun at uptight mainlanders. Donkey balls are chocolate covered macadamia nuts, one of the best treats the Island has to offer. The company is proud of its name too. There are also dried and chocolate-covered strawberries and coffee beans for your sweet tooth.
  • Ono: Why this fish doesn’t appear at more luaus is a mystery, although it may be because it disappears almost as soon as it is caught. There is simply no better-tasting fish out there; people have been known to consume it right on the dock or in the boat! It is best lightly seared, though maybe with a touch of teriyaki sauce for the doubters.
  • Hawaiian corn: Considering the absence of ANY tasty vegetable at a tourist oriented luau, it can only be assumed that Hawaiian corn has been deemed too delicious for the masses. It’s simply the best corn to be found, anywhere.
  • Fruits: Mango, papaya, guava, and ka’u oranges are all great fruits if you get tired of coconuts and bananas (although how one can get tired of plantains is beyond us). Ka’u may look nasty, but the general rule is that the uglier it looks, the better it tastes!