Barack Obama – The Comfort Foods He Loves!

Barack Obama is a food lover from Hawaii. Much of his political success can be attributed to his ability to reach-out across the aisle. The same holds true in his private life; he loves sharing local-style comfort foods with his family and friends.
By: Michael Winner
Tasty Tours for the Hungry President
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Honolulu - Hawaii - US

Nov. 16, 2008 - PRLog -- When President Elect Barack Obama is in his hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii, he heads straight for the local fare – The Hawaiian Plate Lunch.

It’s greasy, fatty and absolutely delicious!  The treadmill can wait -- while he lines up with all the other locals – from businessmen to surfers -- at one of his favorite dives such as Sugoi, Rainbow Drive-in, or Zippy’s.  The “plate lunch” is simple in form but varied in its elements.  Its foundation is “Two scoops rice, and Mac”  -- which is two scoops of white rice, and a side of macaroni salad - heavy on the mayonnaise, by the way.

This carbo load — usually piled into a plastic foam container — is paired with a protein, generally of the pan-Asian variety.  After a morning of hard work, hard surfing, or dunking on the basketball court, Obama knows it’s time for Plate Lunch!  Korean kalbi, Chinese garlic shrimp, Philippine pork adobo, Hawaiian kalua pork (a luau favorite), Japanese katsu, Portuguese sausage, American-style beef stew, or Hawaii’s very own loco moco — which is rice, a hamburger patty, brown gravy, and a fried egg on top.

Matthew Gray, who runs Hawaii Food Tours, brings tourists to Oahu's plate lunch outlets and other lesser known hole-in-the-wall spots – and because of popular demand – has a special tour which features some of Barack Obama’s favorite Plate Lunch treats.

"The cultural significance of the plate lunch is that it illustrates Hawaii as a special place where all of our mixed cultures share their foods with one another," said Matthew Gray. “President-Elect  Obama grew up in this multi-cultural environment and this is his comfort food.  Instead of referring to Hawaii as a melting pot, I prefer to call us a salad bowl, where we all get to share and showcase the individual flavors, aromas and histories of our food."

The Hawaiian plate lunch traces its roots to the 1880s, when giant fruit and sugar companies controlled much of the local economy. Among other factors, the decimation of the local population by disease made the companies desperate for plantation workers, and they drew a labor pool from China, Japan, Portugal, the Philippines and other areas.

For workers who toiled under harsh conditions, lunchtime was a respite, with hearty portions of rice matched with whatever meat was left over from dinner the night before.  The standard plate lunch tends to draw local crowds, for its magical mix of large portions and cheap prices.

Often knocked by health-conscious types, the Hawaiian plate lunch seems like odd fare for a man as trim and fit as Mr. Obama, who seems to treasure his treadmill. "People here are prideful that Barack Obama left Hawaii for Harvard, but when he comes back home, it’s so cool that, like everyone else, he heads straight for his favorite Plate Lunch place,” says Matthew Gray from Hawaii Food Tours.

For interviews or additional information, contact Michael Winner, or visit Be sure to ask about the Hole-in-the-Wall Tour that features some of Barack Obama's favorite food haunts.

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Hawaii Food Tours is the ONLY COMPANY OFFERING GUIDED RESTAURANT TOURS in Hawaii. Owned by Matthew Gray, former Chef, and Restaurant Reviewer. He is Hawaii's #1 Food & Wine expert. Named by MSNBC as "one of the best food experiences in the world!"
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Tags:Barack Obama, Hawaii, Food, Plate Lunch, Comfort Food, President
Industry:Food, Tourism, Travel
Location:Honolulu - Hawaii - United States
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