POLYNESIAN TIKI BAR: THE KANE REPORT
Kane is the Polynesian God of the Earth. And here we present the Kane Report which is all things Polynesian Pop Culture and that which falls in the Tiki-Triangle.
The History: You should probably all know, if you don’t already, all islands and the new world were discovered by sailors. It does not matter if it was Vikings, British, Spaniards, Portuguese, US Navy during wartime, or otherwise, the common denominating factor is it was all due to sailors that we learned this culture.
What is Polynesian? Well, poly means many. But the question of where Polynesia is or what culture it entails is too broad. The best example is that of Easter Island. Ask anyone where it is and they will say the South Pacific. Never would they say the country of Chile, but the fact is Easter Island is territory of Chile and if you watch the movie or read the book Kon Tiki, they express that it is far more logical and practical that explorers traveled from east to west rather than vice verse.
But let’s not take the fun out of this with history, geography or even facts. Let’s just enjoy a pop culture phenomenon which everyone seems to love.
The Cocktails: Starting with the basics of tiki drinks, limes were grown in the tropics, and limes full of Vitamin C helped prevent diseases like scurvy. Its no wonder that limes are the base of nearly every drink today, especially where rum is involved. Rum, also made from sugar cane is from the new world, the Caribbean and tropics. So its safe to say Sailors, Rum and Lime all go together.
The Cuisine: Tiki or Polynesian pop culture is something that originated in the mid century USA. Some say it was as early as the 1930s after prohibition, some indicate it was in the 1940s and 1950s when soldiers at war and/or stationed in the South Pacific returned home with stories of exotic food, women and drink.
In the 1930s a man known by the name of Don The Beachcomber was serving exotic cocktails and had to offer his patrons something to eat, so he hired Chinese cooks to prepare easy dishes to serve. Thus the Tiki culture was born. It was a fictitious interpretation of culture which was far to broad to summarize in a single themed restaurant, but somehow it stuck, and nearly a century later we still have fond images and fantasies of women in grass skirts, drinks in fresh pineapples and flaming pu pu platters of delectable Asian cuisine to nibble on while escaping from reality for a bit.