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 MFA candidate at the Center for Cartoon Studies and a 2019 graduate of Grinnell College. She creates comics based on her interests: food, history, pop culture, and her observations from her daily life and her travels. Her comics have been published by the Asian American Writers' Workshop, Spiralbound, Entropy, and Popula. She self-published a historical graphic novel about a Japanese American food retailer in May 2019 and is currently putting together a comics anthology for Asian American artists. You can follow her at @samnakahira on Twitter. More from this author →