Okinawa is tropical islands located in between Kyushu and Taiwan. Beautiful islands have very rich but difficult history in the recent past. For some Americans, Okinawa is rather known for a U.S. military base.
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. This is obviously American influence after the WWII, as Okinawa was under U.S. occupation unitl 1972. Spam is used in onigiri (rice balls) 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 something to do with their longevity.