This Thing Now: Only from Hawaii
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I can only go so long without my fingertips freckled with pale pink li hing mui powder and spicy Portuguese sausage fat coursing through my veins.
Maybe that's why my dad, who grew up on the island of Oahu, brings my California family back to his hometown of Honolulu once a year. We'd always return to the mainland tanner, fatter and armed with suitcases full of treats impossible to find outside of Hawaii: frozen Portuguese sausage (always Redondo's), packets of dried cuttlefish and li hing mui-covered something (usually gummy bears or dried fruit).
Yes, I am probably going to Hawaii this coming December, but I don't have to wait until then to get my snack fix. When I was chatting with Jordan Keao, the chef of San Francisco's Hawaiian pop-up 'Aina, for a story I wrote about new Hawaiian restaurants, he tipped me off to a site that peddles all of those island gems.
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Say aloha to Only from Hawaii, an online retailer based in Las Vegas that sells all the iconic brands of island food. Aside from the staples like powdered candies, wavy saimin noodles, lilikoi (aka passion fruit) butter and Redondo's sausages, it offers a charming collection of Hawaiian home essentials like Spam musubi makers (which I have at home), iconic fast-food brand Zippy's beanless chili and even a whole section dedicated to zoris (read: sandals).
Though it's still an 11-hour plane ride away from my home here in NYC, it's nice to know Hawaii, or at least my favorite things to eat and hoard from there, is that much closer.
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