Hawai‘i’s Tourists Used to Make Poi “Cocktails” in 1930

The history of Hawai‘i from our files.

For 133 years HONOLULU Magazine has kept its readers and advertisers at the vanguard of fashion, insight and fun. Starting out as Paradise of the Pacific in 1888 with a commission from King Kalākaua, we’re the oldest continually publishing magazine west of the Mississippi. Here is a look into our archives.


From Our Files Poi Making In Hawaii 1930 History


In an article about the making of poi in Hawai‘i, Paradise of the Pacific states, “Poi can be purchased in almost any Honolulu market and sells for between five and seven cents a pound…and is served at least two or three times a week in kamaaina homes.”  Tourists used to make poi “cocktails” to offset the tasteless flavor. “The cocktail is made with milk, sugar and poi.” Wow. Today, we pay $10 to $14 a pound and enjoy the staple of Native Hawaiian cuisine in its purest form before diving into local favorites, including poi malassadas, poi mochi waffles and poifaits.


Fun Fact: The first honey bees to be established in the Islands were shipped to Hawai‘i from California on Oct. 21, 1857.


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