Local traditions and culture in Oahu

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Oahu

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    Lilikoi Syrup

    by cjg1 Updated Feb 7, 2014

    My wife and I love our syrup on Pancakes, French Toast and waffles; usually maple syrup. Our last trip to Hawaii we branched out and tried some tasty Coconut and Guava syrup; which surprisingly we both like immensely.

    We found some of these syrups in a local store and bought a few bottles to take home

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    Coconut Syrup

    by cjg1 Updated Feb 7, 2014

    My wife and I love our syrup on Pancakes, French Toast and waffles; usually maple syrup. Our last trip to Hawaii we branched out and tried some tasty Coconut and Guava syrup; which surprisingly we both like immensely.

    We found some of these syrups in a local store and bought a few bottles to take home.

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    POG Juice

    by cjg1 Updated Feb 7, 2014

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    POG juice is something my wife loves to enjoy when we are in Hawaii and often recreates back at home to drink. POG is a tropical style juice drink created in 1971 by a food product consultant named Mary Soon who worked for Haleakala Dairy on Maui.

    Typically we have seen POG juice made with passionfruit, orange, and guava but have also experienced it made with pineapple, orange and guava. My wife has had both varieties and loves them. I'm not a fan of guava so she can enjoy the juice without me stealing a sip.

    BTW-it's also very good if you add some dark rum into the mix for a nice afternoon drink.

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    Plate Lunch

    by Gypsystravels Written Aug 15, 2013

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    The plate lunch is a popular meal which is usually quite cheap. It typically comprises of two scoops of rice, macaroni and a choice of meat which varies from pork, teriyaki beef and different variations of chicken. There are a variety of dishes which are now called "plate lunches", so it varies on where you eat.

    Some places to enjoy an inexpensive plate lunch is Me BBQ or Fattys.

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    Shave Ice

    by Gypsystravels Updated Aug 15, 2013

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    Shave ice is a local staple in Hawaii and a must try, especially on a hot day. Ferni and I enjoyed a nice cool refreshing shave ice during one of our visits.

    Shave ice is chips of ice that are flavored with a variety of syrups in a paper cone. You can find shave ice in many places throughout O'ahu.

    Ferni enjoying his shave ice
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    Free Visitor Guides & Coupons

    by Gypsystravels Written Aug 14, 2013

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    The free visitor guide and coupons are an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the area as well as plan a particular event. Many of the guides have discounted coupons which can be very valuable on things like meals and activities.

    It's easy to find these guides. When you're arriving at the airport you'll see racks and racks of these guides and maps. If you have a few minutes, take a quick look through them to see if there is anything of interest. Grab a few, you never know if you'll find a valuable coupon which can save you $$ on an activity or meal. If you don't have time, don't worry, many hotels and restaurants carry a smaller selection.

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    Hawaiian Sea Salt

    by cjg1 Updated Aug 7, 2013

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    My wife loves to cook and bake with different types of salts. Hawaiian Sea Salt is a favorite of hers. Back home we usually order it online but here in Hawaii it is sold at many stores including ABC. The salt is an unrefined sea salt that has been mixed with a red alae volcanic clay. The sea salt was originally used by Hawaiians to cleanse, purify and bless tools, canoes, homes and temples. It is also used in several traditional Hawaiian dishes such as Kalua Pig, Hawaiian Jerky and Poke.

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    Hawaii Regional Cuisine

    by cjg1 Updated Jul 30, 2013

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    Hawaii Regional Cuisine is a culinary movement that blends the flavors of the Hawaiian islands with the cuisines of the world. In 1991, twelve chefs came together and created this food movement.

    The core of this movement is to take advantage of the fershest localally grown and produced ingedients on the islands: local cattles, fruits and vegetables grown in the volcanic soil and the fish caught off the Hawaiian shores.

    Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, George Mavrothalassitis and Sam Choy are just some of the local chefs whose restaurants cater to the tastes of the Hawaiian regional Cuisine. My wife and I dined at Alan Wong's in Honolulu and let me tell you it was an amazing cuilinary experience from begining to end.

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    Free Local Guides and Maps

    by cjg1 Written Jul 29, 2013

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    I love that there are free local guides and maps available on the street, in hotels at the airport and cruise ports. These are little gems of information of the area and the local happenings. There are also some great coupons and savings in many of the guides. Definitely pick them up where available; you never know what you might find useful.

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    Blue Hawaiian

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    The Blue Hawaiian is my favorite drink to have here while in Oahu. I enjoy the frozen Blue Hawaiian and will usually find my favorite at the Pikake Terrace at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.

    The Blue Hawaiian was actually invented here on the island of Oahu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in 1957 by Harry Yee a legendary head bartender at the hotel. He was asked by a Dutch distiller to design a drink that would feature their blue color of Curaçao liqueur. He experimented with several variations until be decided on the popular drink. The drink is made with rum, blue Curacao, pineapple juice and creme of coconut.

    There are slight variations of this popular drink but the blue signature color still remains. Try a Blue Hawaiian when you're in Oahu as I'm sure you'll quite enjoy it.

    Frozen Blue Hawaiian
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    Mai Tai

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    It is said that the Mai Tai was invented in Oakland, California by Trader Vic, but Don the Beachcomber Vic's rival claims to have invented it in 1933. Either way this drink was made widely popular in the late 1950's and 1960's when tiki-themed restaurants and bars started serving them. The Mai Tai was also featured in one of Elvis Presley's movie, Blue Hawaii.

    Today, the Mai Tai can be found in many restaurant and bars throughout Oahu. I particularly prefer the Blue Hawaiian while I am in Oahu, but I have tried the Mai Tai and liked it quite much.

    The Mai Tai is made of dark rum, amber rum, ogeat syrup, orange curacao, triple sec, grenadine, and lime juice. (There are many variations of this drink).

    A Mai Tai
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    Poi

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    Poi is the Hawaiian word for a staple food made from the corm of the taro plant. It is considered to be a very important and sacred part of the Hawaiian life. It is said that "whenever a bowl of poi was uncovered at the family dinner table it was believed that the spirit of Hâloa, the ancestor of the Hawaiian people, was present." The Hawaiian people believed the taro plant, or kalo, was the original ancestor of the Hawaiian people.

    Poi is made by mashing the cooked corm, adding water until the perfect consistency. Although I love the taro simply boiled with a bit of olive oil and cod fish, I don't care for the taste of Poi.

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    Outrigger

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    Throughout Oahu and many of the other islands you'll get a glimpse of a "canoe" or "kayak" that will have an outrigger. An outrigger is a rigging that is placed in a fixed position outside of the main hull.

    The more common outriggers in Oahu are the flat hollow floats that stabilize the canoes and kayaks. The outrigger floats form a narrow second hull, made of wood or fiberglass, that extends parallel to the side of the craft.

    Using an outrigger float prevents the canoe/kayak from rolling or capsizing in high winds or heavy waves. It allows the rowers and also the passengers to stand in the canoe/kayak without fear of over turning, to get a better viewing ahead of them.

    In Oahu outrigger canoeing is a big sport with many clubs and sporting events that happen throughout the year. The major event is held here in Oahu every year sometime around September.

    Ferni in an outrigger on Waikiki Beach
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    Spam

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    Spam was introduced to the Hawaiians during the US military occupancy of WWII. During the war meat was very difficult to transport without getting spoiled and Spam was an easy alternative for the soldiers as it was canned and lasted for months.

    Today, Spam is a big part of the Hawaiian culture and at times referred to as the "Hawaiian Steak". The island of Hawaii consume more Spam than any other state and Spam can be found in many restaurants. There is a dish called the Spam Musubi which is made of cooked spam, rice and nori seaweed.

    And, since it's such a big staple food you can even find it on the menu of McDonalds in Hawaii. I've eaten Spam, and find that it's sodium content is way too high for me, but Ferni loves Spam and likes the idea of being able to order it for breakfast when we are visiting Hawaii.

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    Ukulele

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    The Ukulele is a small guitar like instrument that was first introduced to the Hawaiian islands by Portuguese immigrants in the late 19th century.

    The name Ukulele can loosely be translated as "jumping flea" as the Hawaiians described the player's fingers jumping quickly from string to string.

    Making a Ukulele is considered a respected art form and there are many factories where you can find high quality hand crafted instruments.

    You can hear sounds of the Ukulele throughout Oahu since the instrument is part of any band. and its quite a nice and enjoyable sound.

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