Hawaiian Mixed Plate

1 11 2011

We went to Hawaii for vacation in September.  More so than on our previous visit we indulged in the local cuisine. This took us to eateries that served the locals, not just the tourists. In Hawaii, these types of places always serve (among other things) the traditional “mixed plate” or “plate lunch.”   The mixed plate always has the same two side dishes: white rice and macaroni salad. I want to know which missionary wife or plantation cook introduced macaroni salad to the Hawaiian Islands? Did they force feed the poor natives with this stuff until they accepted it as a traditional dish? Was it considered an easy dish to make with the kind of ingredients that can be shipped long distances?  Was mayonnaise a yummy new taste sensation for people accustomed to eating poi? And finally, why would anyone want to eat that much macaroni salad? As you may be able to tell, macaroni salad is not a huge favorite with me.

Ever since we came back from vacation I have been wondering about this Hawaiian fascination with macaroni salad. Now this question can puzzle you as well.

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