From Our Files: Melting Pot of the Pacific in 1931
In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.
“Hawaii with some 35 races contributing to its cosmopolitan population is called the ‘Melting Pot’ of the Pacific,” notes Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. Paradise outlines the different foods, along with cultural traditions, brought to the Islands throughout the years, starting with the ancient Native Hawaiians who ate fish, fruit and taro “served in Koa wood calabashes, gourds, coconut shells and sea shells.” In the 17th century, the sandalwood and whaling industry introduced pumpkins, cabbages, beef and hogs to Hawaii. Plantation workers from Japan, China and the Philippines likewise brought their own foods and cooking styles to the Islands. By 1931, the Hawaii meat industry was valued at $6.5 million ($97 million in today’s dollars).
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