Standing behind our restaurant counter, I do a lot of “translating” of our menu… For those folks who aren’t familiar with the peculiarities of Island Cuisine, there are a lot of unfamiliar-sounding items on the menu. “What’s mafa chicken? Mochiko chicken? Chicken katsu?” I’m always happy to chat about the food (one of my favorite subjects!) and one of the questions I field most frequently is this one: “What’s MAC SALAD?”
The short answer is that “Mac Salad” is a cold macaroni salad, and a common side-dish in Hawai’i. My husband Keoni would expand on that by claiming that Mac Salad holds its own separate place in the food pyramid! (Right next to Spam, no doubt–but that’s another blog for another time…)
Some people add tuna, deviled eggs, or other goodies to their Mac Salad, but ours (like ALL our food) is what Keoni grew up with. Without giving away all our secrets, it’s comprised of cooked macaroni, shredded carrots, a special seasoning blend, and LOTS of Best Foods mayonnaise. Early on in our marriage, Keoni taught me to listen for the particular crackle that Mac Salad makes as you mix it, provided that it has the right amount of mayo…
For a mayo-fiend like myself, Mac Salad is purely heaven-on-earth. (My daily breakfast? A scoop of Mac Salad with kalua pig and our wow-sabi sauce…) When I was in college, my dorm-fridge contained diet Pepsi and a jar of mayonnaise–and on our first anniversary, Keoni constructed a lei made of strung-together mayonnaise-packets. For someone like me, there’s no such thing as “too much mayo.” We do know, however, that not everyone is as wild about mayo as we are, which is why we now offer Pineapple Cole Slaw as an alternative side dish. (We’re also happy to mix up some fried rice or stir-fried veggies on request…)
So there’s my mini-dissertation on Mac Salad… Stay tuned for food chat, “talking story,” cultural observations, and no doubt the occasional linguistic diversion…
Hugs & Aloha!