Hawaii has perhaps the most culturally diverse population on earth. The story of how the Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, Filipinos, Okinawans, Puerto Ricans, various Southeast Asian peoples, and Caucasians (known as haoles
) brought together their culinary traditions on these islands makes fascinating reading. Laudan concentrates on local food rather than the world-class glamour of the Hawaiian regional cuisine cooked up by famous island chefs Amy Ferguson Ota and Roy Yamaguchi. She presents the polyglot world of the plate lunch, Spam, mochi
, seaweed, shaved ice, sushi, and all the other dishes that Hawaiians really eat every day. Primarily a living and lively culinary history, this book does include recipes for the most commonplace Hawaiian dishes.
"A welcome and absorbing surprise." Gourmet "
Definitive." Honolulu Magazine "
Marvelous." Los Angeles Times "
Brilliant." Alan Davidson. Petits Propos Culinaires
"I am clued into what has been an almost invisible society to me." San Francisco Examiner
"The best culinary ethnography ever written." Sun-ki Chai, Sociology, University of Hawaii
"Wonderful." Asian Foodbookery "
Rich in unexpected insights, ironic turns of history and off-beat facts." John Thorne. Simple Cooking
"A consummate work of anthropology." Kaori O'Connor, Anthropology, University College London
"The best book of its kind available. . . . Never pedantic, always entertaining. . . . Here is a book to savor."