Spotlight: “Japanese American Chocolate Pioneers”


As a child, I did not imagine that my beloved Hawaiian Host chocolate-covered macadamia nuts could be found outside of Hawaii. Growing up, I have learned the globalization of food means that the chocolate macadamia nuts I associate with Japanese Americans, Maui summers, and family have many different meanings to other people across the US.


Sam Nakahira is a Grinnell College graduate and MFA student at the Center for Cartoon Studies. Her comics have been published by Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Spiralbound, and Popula. She is editor-in-chief of Threads that Connect Us, a comics anthology for AAPI artists. She writes about things that interest her: food, relationships, history, and her observations about daily living. A major theme of her historical and nonfiction comics is giving credit to many Asian Americans for their historical contributions to the US. She self-published a graphic novel around the history of a Japanese American food retailer named Bill Fujimoto. More from this author →