A must do activity during a Kaanapali Vacation is a Kaanapali Luau. These events are large feasts that include drinks and entertainment from around the Pacific Rim. There are many luaus that are located in Kaanapali and you will see similar things at all of them.

Luau Feast

If you are going to a Kaanapali luau you need to make sure you show up hungry. Traditionally there would be enough food prepared to feed a whole village. The contemporary luau events of today are a similar scale, typically around 500 people in size. The foods you will find at most luaus are generally unique to the Hawaii region.

Kalua Pork – This slow cooked pork dish is something is by far the most popular plate at most luaus. It is actually cooked inside an UNDERGROUND OVEN called an Imu. An Imu is a Hawaiian oven that is made by digging a hole in the ground and then building a fire next to it. To heat the oven, rocks are placed into the fire and heated until they are as hot as possible. Once the rocks have been sufficiently heated, they are moved into the pit. The next step is to cover them with banana stocks and ti leaves. Once the stalks have been added the next step is to ad the pig. Generally, it is put in whole, but sometimes the pig will be quartered to make it cook more quickly. The meat is also wrapped in chicken wire because when the pig is finished cooking it is normally so tender that the meat will literally fall off of the bone. The pig is then covered with a wet burlap sack and then buried. The dirt insulates the oven and keeps the heat inside, allowing the pig to slow cook to perfection. The chicken wire keeps the meat contained and makes it possible to easily unload the imu very quickly without dropping any meat on the ground.

Poi – Poi is a Hawaiian food staple that is made form grinder up Taro root and water. It is best served as a sauce for meats. Most commonly eaten with fish or pork the poi is a naturally occurring complex carbohydrate. In fact, poi has been recently found to be one of the best baby foods on the planet, with Gerber baby foods recently making some big moves to create a poi line of baby foods the delicacy is starting to gain more international recognition. One interesting fact about poi is that there has yet to be anyone found who is allergic to it. This makes it an ideal food for babies who are just beginning to eat solid foods.

Mai Tai  The Mai Tai is not a luau food, but it is a stable part of the modern luau experience. It is a  tropical drink that is made with light and dark rum that is served in a cocktail with juice and normally garnished with a cherry and a slice of pineapple. A tasty drink that is synonymous with the Hawaiian Luau experience.

Jeremy Stice is the Author of the Maui Real Estate Guidebook.

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