Cinco de Mayo -Hawaiian Style??? Does that sound like a plate of mahi mahi tacos to you? You might be surprised to know that in the diverse mix of ethnicities and nationalities that is modern Hawai'i, Mexico plays a role, especially here on the Big Island of Hawai'i.
The first link between what is now Mexico and what is now the Island of Hawai'i in the State of Hawai'i dates back to the early 1800s, when the first horses and vacqueros arrived to help work the cattle that had been brought to the islands by George Vancouver as a gift to the king. The Hawai'ian word for "cowboy" paniolo is a version of the word espanole or Spaniard (as the Spanish moved through Mexico and California with their cattle and horsemanship traditions and from there across the Pacific).
Today on the Big Island, you can find a good selection of ingredients for Mexican food in the supermarkets and several excellent authentic hole-in-the-wall restaurants, as many of the pickers of Kona coffee came here from Mexico.
In downtown Hawi you'll find Mi Ranchito in the courtyard of the Kohala Center building. In fact, I think I'll head there for lunch to celebrate Cindo de Mayo - Hawai'ian Style!
A hui hou