Okinawa is a tropical island located in between Kyushu and Taiwan. The beautiful island has very rich but difficult history in the recent past. For some Americans, Okinawa is rather known as the island where harbors many American bases.
Due to the tropical climate and the island’s unique history, Okinawan food is influenced by main stream Japanese food, Chinese food, South Eastern food and American food. Food in Okinawa is distinctive among many other Japanese regional food.
One of the characteristics of their food is the use of pork. Okinawans consume the largest amount of pork among Japanese. However, current pigs in the island were the descendents of Hawaiian pigs which were given by Okinawan immigrants to Hawaii as gifts after the WWII.
And people in the island do eat Spam, too. Yes, that Spam, made by Hormel. This is obviously American influence after the WWII, as Okinawa was occupied by the U.S. Military unitl 1972. Spam can be used in onigiri and the island’s signature dish champroo among others.
It’s also notable that this small island is repeatedly producing the longest living person in the world. Many people think that the Okinawan food is contributing a lot to their longer life span.