Sense of Place: Flavors and Ingredients of Hawaii

Aloha! Let's take a jump off the mainland and see what the Hawaiian islands have to offer on our culinary tour of the US!

One of the most interesting things about Hawaiian cuisine is that very few native plants were edible. This means that the majority of the raw ingredients - from yams to pigs - have been introduced to the islands by various settlers and immigrants over the years, beginning with the original Polynesians.

Similar to Florida, Hawaii's temperate climate gives them an almost year-round growing season. This means that fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available and dishes pop with their bright flavors.

Fruits:
Coconut
Pineapple
Banana
Mango
Papaya
Avocado
Mulberry

Vegetables and Starches:
Taro
Sweet Potato
Yams
Bread Fruit
Rice
Seaweed

Meat:
Ham/Pork
Spam
Goat
Chicken

Fish and Seafood:
Tuna (Skipjack, Yellowfin, Albacore, and Ahi)
Mullet
Blue Marlin
Swordfish
Snapper
Wahoo
Sea Urchins
Shrimp
Crab

Extras:
Sugar Cane
Coffee Bean
Eggs
Macadamia Nuts
Kukui Nuts (Candlenut)
Ginger
Tumeric
Arrowroot
Hawaiian Salt

We're sure we've missed a few - what else do you have to add to this list?

Related: Cooking by Feel: Latin American Flavors and Ingredients

(Images: Flickr members sevenblock, Vidiot, and Nemo's Great Uncle licensed under Creative Commons)