Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Misc. Hawaii Food Pictures

I recently bought myself an external hard drive so I've been backing up my files and pictures on it. I realized that I had not posted all the pictures from Hawaii.

One of my favorite places to visit when I'm back home on the islands is Samurai Shave Ice in the Aiea Shopping Center. My family and I used to frequent this place years ago when they were first located in the other Aiea shopping complex near the public library. That was way back when they only sold ice cake and had not started upscaling their production and were not in the local supermarkets. Samurai Shave Ice makes a soft serve "Maui Style" sherbet (trying to emulate the famous Tasaka Guri Guri on Maui). It's different from the guriguri from Maui, but I think it's the next best thing and we do not have to fly to Maui to buy it. My favorite flavors are the strawberry and vanilla, but unfortunately that day, the softserve machine only had the banana and chocolate flavors. It was okay. The chocolate flavor reminded me too much of chocolate softserve instead of a sherbert, so I was a bit disappointed. Moving on....one of my absolute FAVORITE foods from Hawaii is kulolo. It's a steamed pudding(?) composed of taro, sugar, and coconut milk. Most if not all the kulolo that is sold on Oahu is from Kauai, so markets do not always carry it. It depends on how much taro is available and I think most of the taro is used to make poi. Just to tell you about the limited amounts of taro on the islands, at Sam's Club there is usually a limit on the number of bags you can purchase. My mom once told me that when she arrived at Sam's Club early one morning, there was a line of people waiting to buy poi. I think this was a couple years ago when taro was scarce.
A trip back home to Hawaii is not complete without a trip to a local shave ice store. My favorite place now is Matusmoto's Shave ice. Growing up, my favorite shave ice place was at Nakashima's Fish Market in Chinatown. It was primarily a fish market, so you would never see a line of people waiting for shave ice. But it was the best! I guess I would go there so often that the man would see me and start making a shave ice and would pour the syrup (strawberry cream) even before I told him what flavor I wanted. Unfortunately, Nakashima's stopped selling shave ice a while ago, so I only can dream about it now.
Mike likes Waiola Shave Ice and since it's in Kapuhulu and closer than Matsumoto's, we usually go there instead. Waiola shaves the ice super fine, such that the syrup does not always have a chance to migrate to the bottom of the bowl. Some people like eating ice that is finer than snow, but I do not when there is no flavor on it. I'd rather consume a slightly coarser ice that is completely flavored. But one could argue that I just consume shave ice too quickly and if I slowed down, the syrup would reach all the shaved ice.
This is what Mike ordered. Half strawberry cream (for me) and calpico (Japanese yogurt drink flavor) for him. Personally I think he likes Waiola Shave Ice just because they have a "Calpico" flavor. I think if you flavored anything with Calpico, Mike would like it. Lastly, here's a picture of yami yogurt. The sole yami yogurt store on the island is located at Ala Moana Shopping Center. Compared to ice cream shops and other yogurt shops like TCBY, I find Yami Yogurt to be pricier than most. But I love the natural flavor at yami yogurt; it's the only thing I order. And of course, Mike likes it because the tang of the natural yogurt reminds him of Calpico. Compared to the Tart flavor yogurt at Yogurtland, they are both really good and I would purchase either. If a gun was pointed at my head and I was forced to choose between the two, I think Yami Yogurt has a slight edge over Yogurtland because it's a bit more creamier.
As you can see, I have a major sweet tooth. All my favorite Hawaii foods are sweets!


K and S said...

'kay, I thought that kulolo was spam until I read the captions...oh, and if you come to Osaka you can have Yami yogurt too :)

genkitummy said...

kat- haha. i looked at the picture again, and could see how the kulolo looks like spam!

Diana said...

I thought it was SPAM too! I miss shave ice. We have some Hawaiian restaurants out here that make it, but it's not as fine as the real stuff. But we eat there so often they gave us free shave ice (with ice cream!) the last time, so I can't complain :)