One of the best books on Hawaiian foods and culture is Kau Kau, Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands. We have a copy for guests to read at Hale KupuKupu during their visit. Here is the description from Amazon.com.
“Good Food, Classic Recipes & the Remarkable Story of Hawai’i’s Mixed Plate
Kau kau: It’s the all-purpose pidgin word for food, probably derived from the Chinese “chow chow.” On Hawai’i’s sugar and pineapple plantations, kau kau came to encompass the amazing range of foods brought to the Islands by immigrant laborers from East and West: Japanese, Portuguese, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Koreans and others. On the plantations, lunch break was “kau kau time,” and the kau kau could be anything from adobo to chow fun to tsukemono.
In Kau Kau: Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands, author Arnold Hiura—a writer with roots in the plantation culture—explores the rich history and heritage of food in Hawai’i, with little-known culinary tidbits, interviews with chefs and farmers, and a treasury of rare photos and illustrations.”