The History of Hawaii, Told in Plate Lunches

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Hipster historian/author/NPR voice/Violet from The Incredibles Sarah Vowell has a new book, Unfamiliar Fishes, that hits bookstores March 22. The book explores the history of Hawaii, which Vowell previews in a trailer (since when do books have trailers?), filled with slides of Hawaiian plate lunches.

What's a plate lunch? "The plate lunch would be the national dish of Hawaii, if, in fact, Hawaii were still a nation," Vowell explains before describing the combo of two scoops of rice, macaroni salad, and South Pacific-style protein.

Watch and learn about the history of the 50th state via the most artistic state food in the country.

Not that Vowell is the first to honor the plate lunch via video...

For starters, here's a haunting ode to the plate lunch by a pale multi-instrumentalist. Despite the six-minute song, he doesn't share any plate-lunch visuals until the end. And then it's more like a Styrofoam box lunch. Catchy, but disappointing.


Porn star Chanel Preston explains plate lunches. And it's not a euphemism.

A cockatoo frozen in 1999 sings the praises of plate lunch to the tune of "Mambo No. 5".
Drunks love the loco moco plate lunch! Loco moco is Polynesian for "slinger."

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