Friday, August 29 2014 1:50 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:50:07 GMT
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
10best.com, an online division of USA Today, is in search of America's most iconic regional foods. From Philadelphia's Philly cheesesteak, to Memphis barbecue, the list of 20 semifinalists is packed with familiar foods.
Honolulu's entry is a bit of a darkhorse. It's poi.
"Looks like something I don't want to put in my mouth" said an anonymous taste tester. The brave soul tried our sample anyway, with predictable results.
"It's bland, it has no taste at all."
His reaction was similar to other tourists we offered tastes to, with some being more diplomatic than others.
Beachboy legend Louie Ferreira had a different take. "Poi makes us strong, makes the Polynesians strong. Back from, gosh, thousands of years ago. That's how they sailed the canoes, they had poi."
Fellow beachboy Sparky backed him up "You can't go wrong with poi--poi with fish, poi with steak...poi with anything".
Like our unscientific poll, 10best.com is relying upon the public for feedback. To vote for poi, go to 10best.com, click on the "reader's choice awards" tab on the top of the page, then scroll down and click on the "best iconic American foods" icon.