Kitchen Essentials — Hawaiian Pantry Mix
Have you ever had a friend drop by unannounced on those one or two days before grocery shopping day? You find yourself rummaging through a sparsely stocked fridge and pantry, hoping that, somehow, a forgotten can of olives or a round of cheese will appear before you. All you need to do to impress any guest anytime is to make sure you have just a few staples on hand all of the time. Apart from the usual preserved antipasto mix easily found in most grocery stores, try mixing it up with a stash of diverse bites from Hawaii.
Hawaii is an archipelago made up of hundreds of islands. Its amazing array of foods showcases the mix of Asian, South Pacific and Portuguese cultures that have settled there over the centuries. Keep on hand items like taro chips, macadamia nuts, toasted coconut chips and Japanese rice crackers, and you’ll always be ready.
The pupu (appetizer) party is a popular, often impromptu, get-together on the islands. Hawaiians usually prepare six or more types of appetizers enjoyed over the course of a sultry afternoon or evening. If cooking up that many appetizers seems a little daunting, do as the Islanders do: visit your favourite grocery store or farmers’ markets to buy ready-made appetizers. Granted, it may be somewhat challenging to find Hawaiian specialties here, but adapting what you do find and quickly grilling up the rest yourself actually makes this kind of party quite doable anywhere you happen to live.