Hit The Road
Islanders’ favorite foods can be found while away
It's funny, the things that you miss while traveling. As we all know, one of the best things about living in Hawaii is our food. Whether you're hungry for oshinko maki or steamed manapua, pork adobo or loco moco, you could find something to satisfy your cravings within 10 minutes. It's almost impossible to imagine anything different in other parts of the world, but every region has its own culinary specialties and peculiarities. While this can help to expand your cultural horizons, you might find yourself homesick and craving your favorite comfort food -- or anything that tastes familiar.
Most major cities are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of dining. You can find sushi and Chinese joints scattered around the world, but be warned, they will probably not be as affordable as they are back home. If you are planning on living in one place for a semester or longer, you might want to think about investing in an inexpensive rice cooker before leaving. Depending on the country, you might need to get a power adapter for it.
While living in London, I stocked up on cans of Spam and shopped in the local Chinatown for things like nori, furikake and soy sauce so that I could make Spam musubi on days when home seemed especially far away. On the other hand, I also fell in love with food in London that is hard to come by in Honolulu, namely the local Indian restaurant's korma curry and naan bread. I found myself ecstatically dumping jars of Patak's korma into my shopping cart upon discovering it tucked away in the International Foods section at Star Market in Mililani.
For many of us, food is a connection to the memories that surround it, and that is what makes it so powerful. While sitting on a sidewalk in Boston with a manapua will not bring you back to Hawaii, it can help you recall the warmth and comfort of a Sunday afternoon at home, making a winter day just a little more bearable.
Joy Uyeno travels frequently throughout the year, and her column geared toward beginning travelers or youths experiencing their first extended stay abroad appears the second Sunday each month in the Star-Bulletin Travel section.