Growing up in Minnesota, having Hawaiian roots is rare. My mother would pack me bento boxes of plate lunch (rice, macaroni salad, teriyaki chicken or fish, and maybe some spam musubi) and I would go skipping off to school, anticipating the tasty meal but dreading having anyone else see or smell it. My childhood peers didn’t quite understand the style of my lunch box, and often made fun of it by making gagging sounds at the lunch table. To me, it was not only delicious, but also a connection to my mother’s homeland.

Continue reading