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Multicultural Foods And Fast Foods: Influences On Hawaiian Diets

1054 words - 5 pages

Hawaii is an island that has many authentic cultures that people try to preserve; a place

where authentic preparations and methods for cooking are greatly appreciated. According to

Shirley Parola, author of the book, Remembering Diamond Head, Remembering Hawai'i: A

Cookbook Memoir of Hawai'i and Its Foods, "Hawaii is really a melting pot and the Hawaiian

cuisine is a blending of all assorted influences.” This means that whenever a person goes to any

house, that person can choose different kinds of foods that come from different cultures.

Traditional Hawaiian food refers to dishes emerging from old Hawaii, while non-traditional

Hawaiian foods are born of the other cultures of immigrant plantation workers, or are foods that

are created by others, but unique to the Hawaiian Islands and have become staples to the local

diet (Yomo). Obesity in Hawaii increased since fast-food restaurants were established and since

Hawaiian foods had been mixed with other cultural influences. According to the government, the

average obesity rate here in Hawaii is 21.2% which is near to the national obesity rate of 35.7%

(Hawaii County). This means that fast food restaurants contribute to the continuous increase of

obese Hawaiian people. Although, Hawaii has many different cultures and cooking styles,

natives often forget about these cultural influences and seek a new flavor. This maybe why

traditional foods and their preparations are often forgotten, contributing to the detriment of

people’s health, in favor of fast-food.

Hawaiian foods are exclusively distinctive to our taste buds and are hard to define among

people who eat these appetizing foods (Kennedy). Ancient Hawaiian's main diet consists of poi

(which comes from taro root), fish, birds, breadfruit, pigs, yams, shellfish, and seaweed

(Kennedy). There are many preparations and cooking methods to each one of these foods

nowadays, but in the past, Hawaiian people mainly used the method of drying and fermenting to

preserve their foods (Baybayan). Since, Hawaiian people before, were fond of sailing, they

needed to preserve their foods through drying and fermenting so that the natives would have

something to eat while traveling. As the Hawaiian people traveled, fishing became a part of their

lives. The methods of preparations such as broiling, boiling, and roasting were challenging to

ancient Hawaiian people due to lack of metal utensils and ceramic containers. Native Hawaiians

used wooden and gourd bowls, then stones and the drying power of the sun (Hawaii History).

The cooking method broiling is done by using hot coals (ko'ala) or hot ashes (pulehu). It

is a common method used to cook if a meal was prepared out in the fields away from home or if

a small amount of food being prepared did not warrant use of a larger Earth oven, or imu.

Broiling involves spreading out fish flat on a level bed of coals, or it is done in a warm over or

near a fire and the fish...

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