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The Tasty Island 2015 Year in Review

Hawaiian Airlines Inaugural First Class Featured Chef Series, featuring Jon Matsubara

Crunchy Numbers

Li hing Pickle Mango

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. According to site statistics, the Tasty Island was viewed about 1,100,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 47 days for that many people to see it. And if Pomai got paid $1 for each one of those visits, he could contribute generously to help those in need, put in for early retirement, pay off his mortgage, take a boat cruise around Europe, and buy that “midlife crisis” convertible Ferrari he’s had his eyes on. lol

The busiest day of the year was December 12th with 4,993 views. The most popular post that day was “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Mango“.

Posting Patterns

In 2015, there were 191 new posts, growing the total archive of The Tasty Island to 1,136 posts.

Longest Streak: 9 days ~ May 18 to 26th

Best Day for new postings out of the entire year: Saturday, with 42 posts total

Attractions in 2015

These are the posts that got the most views in 2015:

  1. Da’ Bes’ Hawaiian Local Style Beef Stew
    47 comments July 2014
  2. Recipe: Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi “Casserole”
    46 comments January 2011
  3. Li Hing Pickle Mango
    24 comments June 2011
  4. Costco Made in Hawaii Eats
    39 comments April 2013
  5. Oahu Eateries Memorialized
    357 comments March 2013

Some of The Tasty Island’s most popular posts were written before 2015, which means this blog has staying power! (I didn’t write any of this, JetPack did, while the statistical numbers are all hard facts!)

How did visitors find The Tasty Island Honolulu Food Blog?

The top referring sites in 2015 were:

Where did The Tasty Island’s visitors come from in 2015?

  • Char Hung Sut Ma Tai Soo

    The United States: 992,807

  • Canada: 25,490
  • Australia: 10,283
  • Japan: 10,122
  • India: 1,905
  • Russia: 897
  • China: 659

… and many more, making it 213 countries in all who visited this blog in 2015!

Who were they?

The Tasty Island’s most commented-on post in 2015 was SPAM® Portuguese Sausage Coming Soon

These were the 5 most active commenters of this year:

  1. Ken 152 comments
  2. Amy 106 comments
  3. Pat 103 comments
  4. Kelike 62 comments
  5. KeithF 45 comments

Pomai’s 2015 Picks

2015 Honolulu Intertribal Powwow

Above are all hard statistical facts. On a personal note, some of my favorite posts this year were the following (in no particular order), mainly because I really enjoyed the process that went into creating them, it has special meaning to me, and/or, the food and/or event was simply OUTSTANDING!:

Finally, I lost major weight again in 2015, thanks to a SWEAT LOAD of hiking my favorite East Oahu trails, swimming a lot at the beach, and walking a lot, with otherwise no special diet, except for of course eating a sensible, well-balanced meal (for the most part). I’m currently back down to 170 lbs., give or take 3 or 4 pounds. Here I am today (kinda’ dorky, yet very real photo, literally taken this morning, 12/31/15 before starting work), clocking in at 169 lbs (5’9″ height)…

Pomai clocking in at 169 lbs. on December 31, 2016 (5’9″ height)… yay!!!

That all said, to You and Yours, Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year 2016! Kanpai!



12 thoughts on “The Tasty Island 2015 Year in Review

  • December 31, 2015 at 11:02 am
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    Happy New Year to you too Pomai!  I look forward to seeing what you post in the new year.

    Reply
    • December 31, 2015 at 11:56 am
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      David,

      Likewise. I’m planning on visiting and reviewing LOTS of Chinese restaurants around Honolulu in 2016. I want that China visitor stat to increase exponentially over the current 659/year. $1,406,219,637 (1.4 BILLION) potential blog visitors out there in and around Beijing could bring in some serious “ching-ching-ching-a-ling” $$$!  O_O  ;-)

      Reply
  • December 31, 2015 at 2:05 pm
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    Pomai.
    I have 10 Chinese cookbooks totaling over 1,000 recipes if you want to start cooking.

    Reply
    • December 31, 2015 at 2:35 pm
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      Ken,

      I’ll never forget that time my mom cooked a full 12-course Chinese FEAST straight out of a Cantonese style cookbook she got from her good friend in Hong Kong (she used to travel to Hong Kong every year for Christmas shopping, where you could buy name brand clothes and shoes for a fraction of the price here). The food was just as good as Kin Wah (who she was trying to duplicate), but OMG, the kitchen was A DISASTER! Like a HURRICANE blew through our kitchen! My dad was so pissed, and my sister even more so, because she had to wash all the pots and pans and dishes! lol

      So thanks for the Chinese cookbook offer, but I’ll leave that to the pros. We have enough great, (and very affordable) Chinese restaurant around here to do all the work! People take Chinese food for granted, but there’s lots of prep that goes into it!

      Speaking of cookbooks, since I know you have an entire LIBRARY of them, which cookbooks — cuisine-wise – have you been putting to use since you got your new kitchen? Korean? Portuguese? Italian? Chinese (I gotta’ see that!)?

      BTW, did you notice you took top honors for “Most Podagee” visitor of this blog in 2015? Congrats! I think all that Gaspar’s Linquica and Rego’s Purity Portuguese Sausage is rubbing off on you! lol

      Reply
      • December 31, 2015 at 4:58 pm
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        Pomai,
         
        I was very surprised to see my name as #1 Big Mouth on your blog. I didn’t think I opened it that much! You forget I grew up in “Podagee”, “Cape Verde”, “Jewish” and “Italian” neighborhoods on the mainland. I’ve been cooking mostly Chinese and Italian in the new kitchen and as soon as I get the Italian artichoke stuffed leg of lamb done opening up freezer space I’ll start on New England style “Podagee” Codfish Cakes so I can freeze them for quick meals. Then I need to work on my pizzas since I now have cold granite to roll my pizza dough on. My head is swimming with so many recipes I want to try!!! My Christmas COSTCO 2-bone-in 5 lb. USDA Prime Rib Roast was done perfectly with outer brown crust with even edge to edge juicy pink 130 F degrees med-rare melt in your mouth tenderness brought my dinner partner into Christmas dinner bliss along with the red chocolate wine high.
         
        Close friend and restaurateur/owner John Chan: http://www.chanseggrollsandjazz.com/ followed his father’s lead by going to Hong Kong every year to get his chefs for the restaurant so they could cook authentic Cantonese, Szechwan and Hunan, Mandarin, and Shanghai food. I spent a lot of time in Hong Kong for the Air Force so I’ve eaten my way through a number of Chinese restaurants and street vendors there. My wife took a cooking class at Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts University in Chinese Cuisine. I felt like your father and sister every week my wife learned a new dish or course LOL! That’s why I built a second kitchen in the house for myself. You mess up your kitchen you clean it yourself!!
         
        If you are going to eat at a lot more Chinese Restaurants in Honolulu how are you going to understand the regional Chinese Cuisine the restaurant specializes in or if it has been watered down and Americanized or Hawaiianized? However if you are able to create great restaurant reviews this would bring more Chinese traffic to your website. May The Force Be With You!
         
        There are 5 map area regions of Chinese cuisines which feature the following:
         
        Northern China food — salty, simple, less vegetables with wheat as the staple food.
         
        Western China food — hearty halal food with lamb the main meat.
         
        Central China food — spicy with a lot of seasonings.
         
        Eastern China food — sweet and light.
         
        Southern minority food — sour.
         
        Within the 5 map area regions are 8 Regional Major Chinese Cuisines and 15 sub-regional cuisines:
         
        Northern Cuisine — salty and simple with less vegetables.
         
        Regions: Beijing, Xi’an, Inner Mongolia, and Northeast China.
         
        “Beijing Cuisine”; is influenced by a variety of China’s cooking styles, due to being the capital, but mostly nearby Shandong and Inner Mongolia. It is famous for its imperial court cuisine, which originated from the imperial kitchens, where food was cooked for royalty and officials.
         
        “Inner Mongolia Cuisine”; comes from the traditions of ethnic Mongols, and features dairy products, and all kinds of red meat (captive herds and game): mutton, beef, venison, etc. Typical dishes include roasted whole sheep, roast leg of lamb, and ‘hand-grabbed’mutton.
         
        “Shandong Cuisine”; features seafood ingredients and a variety of cooking techniques. It is known for its fresh, salty, crisp, and tender flavors. Shandong cuisine chefs are very particular about making both clear broth and creamy soup.
         
        Eastern China Cuisine — sweet and light with a lot of fish and seafood dishes:
         
        Regions: Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui.
         
        Eastern China Cuisine includes five of the famous eight cuisines of China, taken from the Pearl River Delta to the Yangtze River Delta.
         
        “Cantonese Cuisine”; tends to be mild. It focuses less on spices, but more on absolute freshness and natural flavor of ingredients. Most of its dishes use sweet sauces. Cantonese is the most widely served style of Chinese cuisine in the world. It is famous for its dim sum, bite-sized portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates.
         
        “Hunan Cuisine”; As well as spiciness, Hunan cuisine is known for sourness, as many pickles are very popular in Hunan. Common cooking techniques include pickling, smoking, stewing, stir-frying, and braising, and pot-roasting.
         
        “Fujian Cuisine”; is famous for its abundant ingredients from the sea and mountains. It is characterized by its fine slicing techniques, various soups and broths, and exquisite culinary art. Fujian dishes are slightly sweet and sour, and less salty. Common cooking techniques include braising, stewing, steaming and boiling.
         
        “Taiwan Cuisine”; is most like Fujian cuisine, as the geography is similar, and there has been most interaction between these two areas of China. There is also notable Japanese influence in Taiwan food.
         
        “Zhejiang Cuisine”; comprises the styles of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing, and Shanghai. It is famous for freshness, softness, and smoothness, with a mellow fragrance. It is characterized by its elaborate preparation and varying techniques of cooking, such as sautéing, stewing, steaming, and deep-frying.
         
        “Anhui Cuisine”; is famous for the native cooking styles of the Yellow Mountains (Huangshan) region of China, Anhui cuisine features an elaborate choice of wild ingredients and the strict control of heat and cooking time. Most of its ingredients are from local mountain areas, leading to greater freshness and tenderness.
         
        “Jiangsu Cuisine”; consists of Yangzhou, Nanjing, and Suzhou dishes. It is famous for its fresh taste, with moderate saltiness and sweetness. Ingredients of Jiangsu Cuisine mainly come from rivers, lakes, and the sea. It features precise and delicate carving techniques and various cooking techniques including braising, stewing, and quick-frying.
         
        Western China Cuisine — Muslim food and Tibetan food:
         
        Regions: Xinjiang, Tibet and Gansu.
         
        “Xinjiang Cuisine”; Xinjiang is inhabited by many ethnic groups, and about half of the population belongs to the Uyghur minority, so Xinjiang Cuisine mostly refers to Uyghur cuisine. The food is predominantly halal food due to most Xinjiang people being Muslims.
         
        “Tibetan Cuisine”; Tibetan cuisine is a blend of flavors of Nepalese, Indian, and Sichuan cuisines due to Tibet’s position neighboring India, Nepal and Sichuan Province. It also has its own original dishes, influenced by its harsh climate where they farm yaks, e.g. yak fat tea.
         
         Central China Cuisine — hot and spicy with a lot of strong seasonings:
         
        Regions: Sichuan, Chongqing, Hunan.
         
        “Sichuan Cuisine”;  from Sichuan Province, is famous for its particularly numbing and spicy taste resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique numbing flavor of Sichuan peppercorn.
         
        “Hunan Cuisine”; is similar to Sichuan cuisine, but generally even spicier. It has a great variety of ingredients due to the high agricultural output of the region.
         
         Southern Minority Food — sour with a lot of preserved ingredients:
         
        Regions: Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi provinces.
         
        “Southern Minority Cuisine”; is characterized by lots of preserved foods, particularly pickled vegetables and tofu, which give it its sour flavor. The many southern minorities are generally poor mountain farmers who preserve anything they can’t eat immediately to prevent wastage. Fresh produce from far away is generally not available in their areas.

        Reply
        • January 1, 2016 at 6:05 pm
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          Ken,

          OK, first about ethnicity. What’s interesting is, a coworker of mine who thought he was Portuguese and German, recently took a DNA test to check what he is on a scientific level. When he got the results back, he was SHOCKED to find out while he was indeed Portuguese, he didn’t have any German at all! Ended up, he had Polish (or something like that), and get this: African American! And that man does not look Black at ALL. He LOOKS very Portuguese & German, but nope, he has some African in him!

          I should do a DNA test to find out my true ethnicity as well. My mom is half-Hawaiian, 1/4 German and 1/4 English, and my dad is 100% Portuguese. Or so that’s where their great grandparents were from. Yet you know especially Portugal is made of of MANY different root ancestors, including from India and the greater middle east, hence you have some Portuguese who are very dark skinned, while some look totally Haole, even having blonde hair and blue eyes. If you look at my mom, she definitely LOOKS half Hawaiian and half European. Still, I’m sure there’s much more in our bloodline than “nationality”.

          Last I checked (about a month ago), Prime grade ribeye steaks were selling for $16.99 per pound at Costco (Iwilei location). So assuming Costco discounted a Bone-In Rib Roast to $15.99 for the holidays x 5 lbs = $79.95. Woo-ha! Gotta’ say Ken, you definitely have wine taste with your wine budget! lol

          Now about thoroughly understanding Chinese cuisine by their many different regions, and whether it’s been Americanized, I totally get where you’re coming from. I try to educate myself as much as possible on what I enjoy eating, and what you just wrote will definitely help me on my new Chinese restaurant endeavors in 2016! Mahalo for sharing that WEALTH of knowledge on the subject in your comment! I will definitely reread it before heading off to my next Chinese restaurant.

          As you may know, I’m not a big fan of spicy food, and I’ve tried Schechuan dishes before and didn’t really care for it. While most of the Chinese I ate growing up was Cantonese (my mom’s favorite by far), I’m kinda’ over that and want to try Chinese cuisine from the other regions that you’ve mentioned.

          Speaking of which, if you haven’t already, go check out Migrationology.com, a travel blog by Mark Weins. That guy is AWESOME! He’s blogged some of the CRAZIEST places deep in the orient, including many of the Chinese provinces you mentioned. You may recall I did a blog on eating dog and cat meat, which was a repost from Mark’s Migrationology blog.

          The dog and cat he ate (sounds disturbing, I know) was from the Guangxi province, and get this: he said dog meat was THE BEST MEAT he’s ever tasted. Even better than any beef steak he’s ever had. Is that CRAZY or what?!!!!!! On the other hand, he said cat meat wasn’t that great, tasting “tinny” if I recall. Personally I could never eat dog or cat meat for ethical/psychological reasons, just as many horse owners could NEVER eat horse meat, and get PISSED at the industry people who butcher horses for that market.  But there is a market for it. Crazy. I also would NEVER knowingly eat rat, another delicacy in China. In Peru, Guinea Pig is a popular thing to eat (learned that from Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods on Travel Channel).

          And back to whether the cuisine has been “Americanized”, as you know, most Chinese restaurants here are Americanized. From what I hear, if you go to China and ask for Cake Noodle, they wouldn’t have a CLUE what you’re talking about, even if you explained how it’s made. From what I hear, “Cake Noodle” is exclusive to Hawaii. Even Chinese restaurants on the mainland wouldn’t know what you’re talking about!
          When I first visited Los Chaparros, an EXCELLENT Mexican restaurant on Beretania street, I had a nice chat with Mario, the owner of the restaurant, who is originally from Mexico City. He himself said he HAD TO Americanize his authentic Mexican dishes specifically for the Hawaii demographic, as otherwise nobody would like it, he said. That’s why so many Mexican restaurants here are alike, as I guess Hawaii folks will only eat what’s familiar. As you know, Hawaii isn’t exactly THE place for great Mexican cuisine, as you would otherwise find in many southern US states, especially SoCal.

          IIRC, you and I had a discussion on that subject when we had lunch together Tacos & More. I’d say Los Chaparros is close to Tacos & More in “goodness”. I don’t know about authenticity, as I wouldn’t know how “authentic” any Chinese restaurant is, being I’ve never been to mainland China, only Hong Kong.

          I DEFINITELY know authentic Japanese Ramen specific to Tokyo, as I’ve traveled there MANY times. And that’s the only way anyone would know what authentic cuisine is, is if you traveled there.

          Speaking of which, I’m saving my pennies for a trip to Portugal, Germany and Italy, three “bucket list” places I NEED to revisit (been there a few times when I was a little boy). I want to taste authentic food from those three European regions.

          When I visit Portugal, I definitely need to fly out to the Azores islands, as like many Portuguese in Hawaii, that’s where my dad’s great great grandparents are from. I’ll get “chicken skin” if I ever get to meet my original family of De Sousa in Portugal! Which to note on that, from what I understand, if you were to look in a phone book in Portugal for the last name “Souza” (how my last name is spelled), you won’t find any there. Like many other last names, De Sousa, or Sousa got changed to “Souza” when they immigrated to the US.

          I remember once when I was at Duke’s Waikiki beach, I met this famous professional ultimate fighter from Brazil (I forget his name, but remember his GF was SMOKIN’ HOT!). I said to him, “Oh, so you’re Portuguese!”. Dude, I swear, the guy looked like he was gonna’ deck me right there on the spot. He was PISSED! Totally, totally OFFENDED! He aggressively fired back at me, “No! I’m BRAZILIAN!” He cooled off and was all good after that, but wow, lesson learned: do not EVER call someone from Brazil Portuguese, even if they speak the language and have a Portuguese last name. They will be VERY offended!

          What’s interesting is, when I was young, I never was interested in my heritage, and even was a little ashamed to be Portuguese because of the “Podagee” jokes, not to mention my hairy body lol (I had hair on my legs as early as 8 years old, IIRC). Yet as I got older (like when I got into my 40s), I became very interested in my ancestry… it’s really fascinating!

          Back again to Chinese cuisine, name a few of your favorite Chinese restaurants on Oahu. Perhaps we can have lunch together there!

          Reply
          • January 2, 2016 at 9:56 pm
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            Pomai,
             
            Look who’s talking!!!! That was a double triple whammy of subjects you just threw at me!!
             
            Love ethnicity and just when you think you’ve got it all down pat someone throws a monkey wrench into the gears! If I remember my history right, the Spanish and Portuguese where some of the greatest explores in the world and sailed charting the 7 world-wide seas long before English explores and sailors will be sailors courting a female in every port so after time of putting two together you end up with three which blends in with local ethnic group only to discover years later you aren’t what you thought you were.
             
            That’s why when people ask me what I am I tell them Heinz- 57. Yes my main 4 ethnic heritage groups are Native Narragansett American Indian, Native Cherokee American Indian, Dutch-American, English/Scottish-American but we all know through history a lot of people slept together on some cold East Coast nights and as my father told me if I were to visit the annual Williamson Family gathering I would see a color spectrum of African-American black to European White and every color in between. What I laugh at the most is during my two years in Viet Nam and traveling throughout Asia/Southeast Asia, I always was mistaken for a local no matter what country I was in. Even now living on the Leeward side I have people mistaking me for 100% Hawaiian. You mistook me for Chinese! LOL and some people have mistaken me for Japanese and I had a Filipino mistake me for being 100% Philippines national!
             
            Yes I know sometimes when I get a real dark tan and grow a beard my whole appearance changes and that really throws people off or when I stay out of the sun lowering my sun tan and shaving my beard I look like a completely different person and if I were to tone down any gray hair back to my natural dark brown/black hair color and grow it long like when I was a hippy folk singer that really screws people up.
             
            According to my book; “The American Ethnic Cookbook For Students” by Mark H. Zanger he documents over 122 major ethnic hyphenated Americans and their cuisine. He does not hyphenate Native American Indians because they were here first.
             
            Well I must say you pretty much hit the nail directly on the head! The Costco 5 lb. standing Prime rib roast cost me $75.70. After cutting off the bones I had 3 lb. of meat left which we got 5 great slices (servings). If I went out for dinner it would have cost at least $200 with wine so I think I made out OK with a private quiet Christmas dinner! At least now I know I have to keep her supplied with chocolate red wine every week!   
             
            I wrote that specifically to get you thinking and understanding the massive undertaking you have placed on yourself however, you have many resources here in Hawaii. There has got to be favorite places Chinese tourists like to eat here because the food tastes like home. So the main trick is to find them and document the cuisines style that restaurant cooks. Of course one chef will recommend another chef who recommends another chef and so on till you’ve done the full Chinese Cuisine circuit!
             
            I kinda lucked out growing up as my elementary school friend’s mom and dad owned and operated the only Chinese restaurant in a Portuguese/Cape Verde neighborhood. They cooked Americanized Shanghai style cuisine.
             
            It was after I returned from Viet Nam and Hong Kong that I met John Chan and got to eat daily at his mom’s and dad’s restaurant eating authentic Cantonese, Szechwan and Hunan, Mandarin, and Shanghai food. My father was part of the first official U.S. envoy group to visit China for 6 weeks when China first opened up to U.S.A. so he ate a lot of state dinners. I’ve been in Japan and my wife was there for 6 weeks 5-star on Japanese government plus we were invited into a Japanese restaurant by the chef/owner to help him cook for professional chef’s convention. I still feel honored!
             
            Don’t forget, you are part Hawaiian and Hawaiians raised dogs for meat so in you DNA you got Lassie running around! Hey I’ve eaten bat and rats in Asia plus snake and especially really good reindeer one Christmas!
             
            I never used to eat Mexican till  I moved to Hawaii and lucky run into Tacos and More who are retirees from Mexico City. Some of the best dishes I’ve had are the ones not on the menu but made up home cooking to see if I would like it!
             
            You need to stop in Boston, MA and go to Fall River and New Bedford for all the Azorean Portuguese that moved from Azores and then moved to Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines is starting direct flights from Honolulu to Boston Logan, Intl. You can then hop a direct flight to whatever European region you want.
             
            My Aunt died and her husband remarried a Brazilian lady now his son has married a Brazilian woman. They go to Brazil all the time and keep telling me I should visit. Yes there are some Brazilian men that go zero to 60 in 1 sec if you mistake their ethnicity a little like Samoans.
             
            I’ve been going to Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory in Kapolei and # One Chinese Restaurant in Waianae;
             
            nothing so far in downtown. 

          • January 4, 2016 at 6:44 pm
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            Ken,

            Sheesh, this is becoming a commenting war of attrition! lol

            Well yeah, Ferdinand Magellan, the great Portuguese sailor is documented to be the first captain ever to circumnavigate the globe. Well, at least most of it. According to Wikipedia, he was killed before the expedition ended (which it did eventually complete successfully) in the Philippines during a war there.

            And with that, the Portuguese Empire spanned the world, including even in Japan where they had an outpost!  I understand the Japanese word “Arigato” for thank you originated from the Portuguese word “Abrigado”. They also say Tempura was a cooking style introduced to the Japanese by the Portuguese. And no question the Okinawans have  Portuguese in them. Gotta’ be why they’re so hairy, and some ahve very round eyes. I know a local Okinawan guy (our copy guy) who looks totally Portuguese (and talks like one too!). lol

            Ken, you definitely have an interesting look that’s very difficult to pin down. Remember, I thought you were half Chinese, half white! I can’t even imagine you with long hair as a hippie. I’ll have to hit your FB page and look for younger photos of you! When we traveled to Italy when I was a little boy, everyone there thought I was Italiano, being I looked very mixed European and Hawaiian. Now I look totally like my Portuguese dad. Like TOTALLY.

            Interesting notation about that cookbook for students, where the author doesn’t hyphenate American Indian because they were here first. So true! To hyphenate it would be an insult! Why are they even called “American Indian”? Aren’t they simply “Native Americans”? Or are Indians a distinct race split up by tribes? This, compared to say the Aztecs in South America? I would think everyone there are one evolved race of people, just as all polynesians are. Well, to a degree. That also always makes it confusing when you have to clarify you’re referring an “American Indian”, not someone who’s from India in the Middle East.

            Oh, of course it will always be cheaper too cook at home than for the same dish at a restaurant, even when doubling the price for Prime grade beef! I still have to do my comparo’, where I’ll grill a Prime grade Ribeye side-by-side against a Choice grade Ribeye. GUARANZ’ there will be a HUGE difference! Outside of Costco, which supermarket(s) here on Oahu do you think have the best quality beef? Safeway? Times? Foodland? Tamura’s? I LOVE Don Quijote, but their meat quality isn’t the greatest. I think Safeway has the best out of those I mentioned. At least for beef. Then again, maybe I’ll need to do a comparo between Prime Grade Ribeye from ALL OF THE ABOVE to prove which one really is the best! Dang, that’s going to be an expensive blog post!

            The Chinese restaurant pledge for 2016 will no doubt be challenging. I’m REALLY going to have to think outside the box! Especially with the childhood “hang-ups” about it that still lurk within. One thing I notice though, is Chinese people are very cool about photography and asking questions. Try take photos in a Korean restaurant or market? Most owners give you the 3rd DEGREE! As if I’m some culinary spy for North Korea or something! lol Seriously, one time I was snapping some photos at Palama Market (a Korean market in said area), and the manager totally SNAPPED at me! He stood there and made sure EVERY PHOTO was deleted. He even was trying to ask me to give him my memory card. I mean, SHEESH! I tried to tell him I was “promoting them” for a food blog, but he wasn’t buying any of it! That’s why every time I go to Korean establishments now, I ALWAYS ask first before taking photos. It’s the only places I’ve needed to do. Most other places are totally cool about picture taking.

            That must have been pretty cool having a friend’s parents who owned a Chinese restaurant, especially in that part of town. You were “In like Flynn”! My sister owned a lunch wagon for a few years, and it was rather nice having direct access to everything she sold out of it, from shave ice, to snacks to plate lunches. Still though, after a while, you get burnt out on it when it’s that accessible and repetitive.

            I remember you mentioning several times before about that stint you did helping out that Japanese Chef. Truly an honor. I’d be SO NERVOUS working for ANY Japanese Chef, and no matter how accomplished I myself would be as a professional Chef, I would NEVER want to ever go face-to-face battle against Iron Chef Morimoto. That would be like Britney Spears battling Michael Jackson in a dance-off! How’s that for an analogy? lol

            You know what’s funny is, even though I’m part Hawaiian, I can only eat so much Hawaiian food, and I get sick of it. Only Poi can I eat on a daily basis. All the other stuff, if eat it say, once every two months, I’m good. That’s why the Chinese restaurant “endeavor ’16” will be a challenge, is I already stereotype the flavors, which I can get burnt out on quickly as well. Which is why again I’ll need to hunt for extraordinarily DIFFERENT types of Chinese cuisine to break that monotony.

            That’s so weird how you never ate Mexican on the mainland. Must be just as absent up there in New England as it once was here. Only in the last I’d say 20 years has Mexican restaurants become more accessible here. I’m still waiting for more presence of Jewish cuisine, which I LOVE! Speaking of which, you really need to try Shaloha out in Kaimuki. AWESOME house-made Pita Bread sandwiches!
            God, I so dread that the thought of a 14 hour direct flight from Hawaii to the east coast. Ugghhh. I remember flying 12 hours direct from HNL to Hong Kong. DREADED IT! And we were in first class!

            As for misidentifying folks’ race, I find it’s getting harder and harder to discern national Koreans from national Japanese, especially the younger generation. The older generation of Koreans have a distinct jaw line and overall “look” that you can tell they’re Korean. However, that seems to be disappearing with the new generation, where Koreans look Japanese and vice versa. I just met two brothers (about their mid 20’s the other night at the Waikiki block party and mistook them for being Japanese. Luckily they were cool about it. They really did look Nihonjin, not Korean.

  • December 31, 2015 at 5:32 pm
    Permalink

    Happy New Year, Pomai! As a former island girl now living in Oregon, I love reading your blog as it brings me closer to home. Thank you for keeping it real and keeping it current – your site is a bright spot for me in this gray Pac NW. Cheers!

    Reply
  • January 1, 2016 at 1:21 am
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    Oh no! I was a commenting slacker this year!

    Happy New Year!

    Reply
  • January 1, 2016 at 10:05 am
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    @ h – Yes, you have been slackin’. As I’ve said before, I genuinely miss you when you don’t make any comments here, as everything you say is very insightful and akamai (smart)! It’s the Jewish in you! Our “OT tangents” are often better than the subject at hand! ;-)

    Speaking of Jewish, I’ve been craving Latkes lately, and so will soon attempt to make your Grandma Dot’s Latkes recipe. As I told you before, a former coworker of mine is Jewish, and she once brought us her version of Latkes, which were pretty much like Hash Browns. She served them with Apple Sauce and Sour Cream… and with those two toppings, I thought it was AMAZING! Since then, I TOTALLY became a Latkes fan!

    @ Natasha – I have extended ohana there near the Willamette Valley area. One’s a practicing doctor (Clinical Pharm.D.). Apparently I found out the Hawaiian green Ti Leaf plant can successfully grow to full maturity in Oregon. How weird is that, right?!

    @ Ken – OK, buddy, you just not only won “Most Podagee” for most comments of the year 2015 on this blog, but also after your last comment? You now also won “Most Words in One Comment… Yes I really AM Podagee! of the Year” award! LOL! Seriously man, WOW! That was totally DEEP! Way deeper than this post!

    I certainly WILL respond to your last two VERY thought-provoking comments in great detail later, however gotta’ run right now. Ken, I LOVE YOU, MAN! (and no, you’re not getting my Bud Light). lol

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  • January 2, 2016 at 10:31 am
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    Happy New Year!  I can’t believe I haven’t met you IRL yet.

     

    Thanks for continuing to share your all about the great eats in Hawaii!

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