This is my first time living someplace without a significant Mexican community. As I adapt to life in Hawaii... I go out for Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Hawaiian Fusion... my wife cooks mostly Italian, Southern French & California Cuisine (with a Southern Euro bent)... and I primarily cook Mexican & California Cuisine (with a Mexican & Silk Road bent).
This thread documents my effort to use indentifiable Mexican techniques & foundational ingredients... to cook food that is Mexican in integrity but which takes advantage of ingredients available here on the islands. There is an additional shade in that... while Hawaii might not have as much of an obvious Mexican influence as the mainland... there are many things in common developed over the last 500 years of indirect contact... as well as the fact that Hawaii lies at the same latitude, and shares an ocean with Mexico.
> Several Native Hawaiians upon meeting me told me about the Paniolos (of which I had never heard of). It turns out that in 1832 King Kamehameha III's ambassador traveled to Mexico and brought back 3 vaqueros / charros to teach the locals how to become cowboys. Consequently, the Hawaiian slack key style of music was derived from Trova Ranchera. Also, the Ukelele (which is also associated with the Portugese immigrants) is very closely related to the Jarana guitar evolved in Mexico over the last 400 years.
> Then of course you have many plants that originated in Southern Mexico & Central America that were introduced to Hawaii in the last 500 years and have come to be an inseperable part of Hawaiian identity... Pineapple, Papaya, Guava, Hawaiian Peppers, Avocados etc.,
> And there are many aspects of Hawaiian / Polynesian origin that have become an inseperable part of Mexican identity... Coconuts, Palm Thatch Roofs etc., As well as 3rd party influences that have simultaneously become part of both identities... Sugar Cane, Macadamia Nuts etc., etc.,
> Hawaii and Western Mexico share many species of sea life... Mahi Mahi (Dorado), Yellow Fin Tuna, Marlin, King Mackeral etc.,