Go beyond the Ketchup and Tabasco and dash some chili pepper water on local cuisine to accentuate your meal. Be forewarned, chili pepper water does pack some heat.
The tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is a native flowering plant to Central America and is named for the shape of its rootstock. A member of the agave family, the tuberose flower is recognized by the heady effect it has on the olfactory senses.
The shaka is a ubiquitous hand gesture that has become closely associated with the Aloha Spirit.
A relative of the seahorse, trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculatus) are named for their long, thin bodies with upturned mouths. While common in waters around the Big Island, these masters of disguise can be hard to spot.
The local term grindz is often used by kama‘aina (island residents) to describe food that is tasty and good to the last bite.
The Madagascar day gecko is named for its native eastern coastal home and inhabits trees in rainforests, including those found throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
A shave ice is cool and refreshing and a must-have treat while in Hawaii. It’s a local favorite among keiki (children) and adults alike—the perfect remedy to cool you down on hot sunny days.
Plumeria blossoms are almost synonymous with the spirit of aloha and recognized as the quintessential lei flower. With varying sweet aromas from jasmine to gardenia, plumerias are among the most fragrant flowers in the islands and can be found almost everywhere.
Strawberry guava, called waiawi (yellow-fruited) or waiawiulaula (red-fruited) in Hawaiian, is a beautiful tree with delectable fruit, but government agencies have deemed the strawberry guava as one of Hawaii’s most destructive non-native species.
Cruizin', or cruisin', is amongst one of the most popular, highly used slang heard frequently throughout Hawaii. And, no wonder—it’s one word that pretty much sums up the laidback vibe here in the islands.