Food is one of my favorite things of all time! I wonder what my mom would say if I changed my middle name to Kaukau? (corny, I know) Snacks are particularly my favorite because those are the foods that I can take on the go, and any snack that I can take anywhere is a plus to me. In Hawaii, we have a gift for crafting our own treats that are just hard to top!
1. Shave Ice (or Ice Shave)
If you don’t know what shave ice is, it’s basically what it’s called: Shaved ice, but then you add a syrup of your choice which brings everything together. You can also add extra things such as ice cream in the middle, Li Hing mui powder on the top or condensed milk (aka snowcap) drizzled all over it. You can enjoy it any way you want but one question remains: Is it ice shave or shave ice?
2. Spam Musubi
Spam Musubi is a local favorite in Hawaiʻi. Itʻs cooked spam and rice wrapped in nori and usually served warm. I donʻt know what makes it SO good, but once you try it, itʻs hard to give it up. Spam musubi has been a HawaiʻI favorite for as long as I can remember, and I don’t expect that it will go away any time soon.
3. Dried shrimp
Dried Shrimp is an acquired taste, but if itʻs something you enjoy, but it definitely makes this list of favorite snacks. I particularly like the texture of it all and I enjoy the taste of fish. It is really a hit and miss with this snack but as they say, donʻt knock it until you try it!
4. Li Hing-Mui Anything
Li Hing mui is a salted dried plum that is one of Hawaii’s most popular snacks. But people have found that the powder from this tasty treat has almost unlimited uses. This tangy, sweet add-on goes great with popcorn, citrus fruits, sour belts and even shave ice. Yum!
5. Dried fruits
Dried fruits are a must to bring during any huakaʻi (field trip)! Itʻs very easy to pack, and very delicious. One of the most favorite dried fruits in Hawaii would be the Li Hing mui dried mango. However, dried fruits vary from Li Hing mui mangos, to bananas, to apples and even apricots. So delish!
6. Pickled mango
Kulolo can be a dairy or non-dairy dessert, so if you’re lactose intolerant, fear not. It’s actually harder to find than some Hawaiian foods, but many farmers’ markets sell it, and the locals often make it at home. Kulolo is another coconut and taro root dessert made with brown sugar. It looks a bit like a pound cake and can be cut into slices and served with Rosalani—a popular Hawaiian brand of ice cream.
Arare is another popular salty snack that is bite-sized rice crackers coated in a shoyu-sugar. Itʻs salty snack that is another thing that is hard to put down once you start eating it. Very popular in HawaiʻI, Arare can be found anywhere around the islands. Add it to popcorn during your next movie time and you won’t be disappointed.
And that's my 7 favorite Hawaii snacks. If you haven't had a chance to try them then go ahead and live a little. If you have then tell me what your favorite one is in the comments. Did your favorite snack not make the list? Inform our readers in the comment section so that they can go and try it. Happy Snacking!
The Hearbeat of the Big Island