Rather than bring back food from Hawaii, there are ways to recreate more or less authentic Hawaiian food using ingredients found in the Northeast. It is particularly difficult to find taro leaves, though at one time it was available at HMart in Little Ferry, New Jersey. A Hawaiian acquaintance, a chef, finds it at Indian grocery stores in New York City. Taro is apparently grown in Southern New Jersey. The tubers are sold as malanga at ethnic grocery stores. You can see taro growing in neighborhood gardens and in planters on Park Avenue during the summer. Since it’s tropical, it will not winter.

Food that we do bring back from Hawaii when can are salted salmon blocks from Don Quixote, salted butterfish, a big bag of poi from Costco, and lau lau’s, also from Costco. It just saves time, though these ingredients have credible substitutes here out East. Rather than bring back ti leaves, I grow them in pots as useful ornamentals. These were started from stems brought back from Hawaii.

Here are some recipes (pictures to follow):

Kalua Pork

Lomi Lomi Salmon

Oven Lau Lau

Chicken Long Rice

Tripe Stew