The Marvel Universe features some of the most wonderous substances in popular culture. From the mighty uru metal that forged Thor’s Mjolnir, to the vibranium weaved into Black Panther’s costume, there is no shortage of durable materials. Adamantium is perhaps the most hard-wearing substance of all. Known for being coated to the skeleton and claws of Wolverine, Adamantium has a much deeper history connected to the dawn of the Marvel Universe.
Forged from myth
The substance that would become Adamantium was created from a Greek legend. According to myth, Hercules wielded an enchanted golden mace that was made from a metal called Adamantine. Called the Metal of the Gods, Adamantine had mystical properties that added to the strength of the Olympians.
Inspired by the myth, Dr Myron MacLain set out to create an indestructible alloy that would help the Americans during World War II. While working with steel, vibranium and an unknown metal, MacLain fell asleep at his desk. When he awoke the metals had mysteriously fused together.
The sample became known as Proto-Adamantium and MacLain used it to create Captain America’s shield. MacLain could never duplicate the process because he didn’t know the exact ingredients. His experimentation gave rise to other variations called True Adamantium, Secondary Adamantium and Adamantium Beta.
During the Adamantium-making process, the components of the metal are kept in separate batches, usually in blocks of resin. The alloy is made by melting the blocks and mixing the components while the resin evaporates. Then, adamantium needs to be cast within eight minutes. But to truly understand the metal, it’s worth looking into the different grades:
This is the original Adamantium that Dr MacLain created and the only existing version of it is in Captain America’s shield. It has never been recreated and it is the most indestructible object in all of creation.
True Adamantium is a mixture of vibranium and other substances and while it’s extremely durable, it isn’t as strong as Proto-Adamantium. Expensive and rare, this variation can only be reproduced with considerable effort and money. Wolverine’s bones and claws are coated with True Adamantium.
The only forces that have been able to damage True Adamantium are beings with godlike or magnetic powers. For example, Magneto managed to manipulate the molecular structure of the metal on Wolverine’s bones and rip it out of him.
Secondary Adamantium is much more cost-effective than other types and less durable. It was created as an alternate supply for government bodies. Secondary Adamantium is stronger than titanium, but it can be broken by people with superhuman strength such as Thor or The Hulk.
This type of Adamantium is a by-product of the process that bonded True Adamantium to Wolverine. His healing factor altered the molecular structure of the metal, so it didn’t hinder the biological processes of bone. Adamantium Beta functions exactly like True Adamantium but is unique to Wolverine.
Developed by the USSR to be a more cost-effective version of True Adamantium, Carbonadium is more malleable than other grades. Highly unstable and radioactive, Carbonadium has a negative effect on people with healing factors.
The villainous Omega Red has Carbonadium coils that he’s used to slow down Wolverine’s healing abilities. The only known way of reproducing the metal is to use the Carbonadium Synthesiser, a device that can liquify the alloy and mold it into different shapes.
Video games are blamed for many things—children learning violence, neglecting school, and being inattentive to the “real” world.” True, video games have their downsides, but that’s mostly on the person playing rather than the game itself. Although less discussed, playing video games does have its benefits (aside from the entertainment value, that is), and they’re backed by science too.
If you’re a longtime player, you may already know these advantages. If you’re not, then you may as well educate yourself to gain a better perspective. Here are four scientifically proven benefits of playing video games.
1. Boost Cognitive Functioning
Video games gets a bad rap for causing children to be dull and inattentive, but according to a study published in the Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology journal, that’s far from the truth. After considering several variables, such as child age, gender, mother’s age, education, etc., researchers found that high video-game usage (more than five hours per week) was linked to “1.75 times the odds of high intellectual functioning” and “1.88 times the odds of high overall school competence.”
The study concluded that “playing video games may have positive effects on young children.” As for how it stimulates children like so, researchers suggest further investigation.
2. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
When playing video games, most of the player’s attention is tuned to the screen, barely looking down on the keyboard or console to look at the controls. Players press specific combinations of keys to perform manoeuvres in the game without moving their eyes from the screen. The precise control it requires to play video games trains players’ coordination, allowing them to have excellent command of their hands without looking at what they are doing.
3. Augments Decision-Making Skills
Playing video games is essentially making decisions as you go. If you’re not fast or decisive enough, you experience immediate consequences—your character dies, or their health goes down. When you play a video game to make decisions from the get-go, choosing which side to play, the character to control, the items to use, and the skills you want.
The player practices making decisions every step of the way, and quick-thinking and decision-making are essential, especially in strategy games like StarCraft or Civilisation, to win against your opponent.
Cognitive scientists from the University of Rochester tested groups of 18- to 25-year-olds who were nonplayers and were divided into two groups. Each group was asked to play 50 hours of video games; one group played fast-paced video games, Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament, while the other group played a slow-moving strategy game, The Sims 2.
The researchers found that “action video game players’ brains are more efficient collectors of visual and auditory information, and therefore arrive at the necessary threshold of information they need to make a decision much faster than non-gamers.”
4. Develops Social Skills
Contrary to what many media portray, a majority of video gamers don’t hole themselves up in a dark room with only their gaming personal computers or TV and console for company. And they’re also not modern-day hermits who only play video games all day long. In fact, many video gamers organise groups and meet up with friends just to play.
Many games, especially online games, require players to make connections or form teams to play. This compels players to socialise. Some organise teams and play with offline friends while others meet people online. Outside or inside the screen, video gamers are constantly interacting with others and cultivating their social skills.
The Bottom Line
Playing video games has tons of benefits, but one thing you should remember is that gaming should be done in moderation. You should not let it interrupt or disrupt your school, work, health, and other aspects of your life. When it gets to that point, you won’t be gaining benefits but creating problems for yourself.
As long as you maintain discipline and self-control, go ahead and have fun playing games. And the next time someone tells you off for playing video games, perhaps you can enlighten them on the benefits listed above to get them off your back.
Madeline is a gaming enthusiast and tech writer. Her recent articles are about eSports and PC gaming and have been a consistent fan and user of iBUYPOWER gaming PCs. She has 2 Golden Retriever dogs, which accompanies her in her daily morning jog.
The defining qualities of a superhero include selflessness, compassion and a dedication to making the world a better place. Characters like Captain America inspire us to better ourselves by committing acts of generosity. So, when a charity like Flying Hero Club is founded on the beliefs that superheroes stand for, it deserves to be recognised for the work it’s doing.
Helping children smile
Flying Hero Club was created by Jim Churchman, a stunt coordinator responsible for making some of the biggest names in Hollywood take to the sky. Having worked on several major superhero films, Churchman used a computerised flying system to make actors like Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch and Halle Berry fly.
Wanting to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs, Churchman set up the Flying Hero Club. Churchman was motivated by his experiences with family members who’d suffered with cancer. His grandfather passed away from cancer at 13, while his mother died from leukemia when he was 23.
The organisation gives kids the chance to fly and feel like their favourite superhero. The flying system consists of a bellyboard that the user can lie on and be transported 100 feet to a desired location.
The Flying Hero Club also caters to children in wheelchairs. A harness is strapped to the chair and the person is carried safely off the ground. In the past, Flying Hero Club has flown kids who’ve been going through chemotherapy and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Reaching out to local communities
Flying Hero Club visits a wide range of locations, such as children’s hospitals, camps, schools and conventions. In the early days, Churchman admitted there was a lot of red tape to go through, especially when trying to access children’s hospitals. Nevertheless, he’s strived to create as many partnerships as possible and break down barriers.
What’s great about Flying Hero Club is that it brings everyone together. Parents can watch their children laugh and have pictures taken so their special moment is never forgotten. The stunt coordinators encourage the kids every step of the way, making sure they get the most out of the experience. Most importantly, families aren’t charged and it’s completely free!
If you feel like helping the Flying Hero Club with their mission, then you’re welcome to make a donation. If you’d like to learn more about the organisation, be sure to check out the website or see what’s happening on Instagram.
Coping with a mental health disorder can be one of the most difficult experiences of a person’s life. Conditions like anxiety and bipolar disorder may prevent someone from living to the fullest. One of the most liberating steps is the realisation that you aren’t alone and that it’s okay to share how you’re feeling with like-minded people.
Superheroes like Speedball understand the power of finding a routine that helps to manage a mental health condition. A sufferer of self-harm and low self-esteem, Robbie Baldwin has experienced more trauma that anyone his age should have to face. Read on to discover his coping mechanisms in the latest edition of Superhero Mentality.
A series of highs and lows
Before getting into his routine, it’s important to understand Speedball’s mental health journey. As a high school student, Robbie was involved in a science-based accident that gave him the power to manipulate kinetic energy. Deciding to become a superhero, Robbie tried to balance his home life with his secret identity as a crime-fighter.
Over time, the marriage between his parents broke down and Robbie found himself estranged from his father because he carried extreme prejudice against people he considered to be vigilantes. The breakdown of his family life forced Speedball to put on a happy persona, which led him into the realm of reality TV and he joined a team called the New Warriors.
During a taping for their show, the New Warriors tried to arrest a group of criminals in Connecticut. One of the villains, Nitro, unleashed an explosion that killed 612 civilians and the rest of the New Warriors. As the only survivor, Speedball felt tremendous guilt over what happened. Disgraced and crippled by self-loathing, Robbie went down a dark path. It took a long time for him to learn to forgive himself, which is why finding a routine helped him turn his life around.
Appreciating the small steps
To start off his day, the first thing I imagine Robbie doing is reminding himself of the progress he’s made. After the events in Connecticut, he suffered a mental breakdown that altered his powers and his mindset. Believing himself broken, Robbie had a suit of armour made that featured 612 spikes to remember all the people who’d been killed.
Calling himself Penance, Robbie donned the armour and let it cut his flesh. This form of self-harm allowed him to harness his powers and create destructive explosions. Even after Robbie went back to his Speedball identity, he continued to self-harm. In his mind, he still saw himself as Penance, someone who deserved to be punished. With the help of friends, Robbie finally managed to forgive himself.
By thinking about how far he’s come, Robbie can begin his morning with a positive mindset.
Going for a walk or exercising can be a good way to clear the mind of unwanted thoughts. In Robbie’s case I’d see him going outside and using his powers to bounce around. Speedball’s powers manifest as large bubbles that help him ricochet off various surfaces.
I could see the exercise being therapeutic for him because he would channel his energy into the simple act of bouncing. Not only would it be enjoyable for him, but it would serve as a training session and giving him the chance to gain better control of his powers.
After exercising, Speedball would likely want to relax and spend time with his cat, Niels. Speedball’s affinity for cats goes back to his earliest days as a superhero. The energy source that gave him his powers also affected Niels. Robbie eventually adopted the cat and the two of them became inseparable.
Niels played an important part in Robbie’s recovery. When he was locked up and drugged in a facility owned by Norman Osborn, Robbie was reunited with his pet. Seeing Niels again unlocked a flood of happy memories that made Robbie’s time in the facility more bearable. It may have been the point when he decided to start making a change.
Talking with friends
No matter how busy he was, Robbie would always find the time to reach out to his friends in the New Warriors and tell them how he was doing. When he first realised that his teammates had survived the explosion, Robbie was hesitant to connect with them because he didn’t want them to see how much he’d changed.
But through reconnecting with close friends like Justice and Nova, Robbie learned to let go of the guilt that was plaguing him. Speaking to people you trust can do wonders for mental health. Whether it’s chatting on the phone with a work colleague or reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken with for ages, don’t be afraid to talk about how you’re really feeling.
Having gone through so much at a young age, Speedball made a promise to help other young superheroes find their feet. He joined the Avengers Academy and helped to teach characters like Hazmat how to better understand her powers.
Teaching can be a rewarding experience, especially from a mental health perspective. A teacher has the chance to lead the discussion about mental health and destigmatise subjects, so their students feel more comfortable talking about issues like anxiety.
Going to a support group
Mental health is a complex subject and even with all his progress, there may be times when Speedball relapses into thoughts of self-harm and depression. During those times, I’d see him visiting a support group like Andy’s Man Club, a place that encourages men to openly discuss their mental health.
The UK-based charity was set up in honour of 23-year-old Andy Roberts, who tragically committed suicide. His brother-in-law, Luke Ambler founded the group in Halifax and the charity has grown to include charters all over the country. Groups like Andy’s Man Club can help to save a life and make a real difference to guys who are suffering inside their heads. #It’sOkayToTalk.
(Please note that Superhero Mentality isn’t meant to be taken as lifestyle advice. The segment is designed to encourage the conversation about mental health positivity.)
Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases I send myself forth. For the protection of the good and for the destruction of evil, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being age after age. — Bhagavad Gita 4.7–8
What do The Elder Scrolls, Warhammer 40,000, and Marvel Comics all have in common? A certain many-armed Hindu god named Vishnu.
Given the superheroic duty of protecting all cosmic order, Vishnu is said to have 10 avatars, and over 1000 names. Appropriately, pop culture has only given Vishnu more faces and names. From appearing as himself in Marvel Comics, or serving as inspiration the warrior-poet god Vivec in The Elder Scrolls, and the terrifying Four-Armed Emperor of Warhammer 40,000, Vishnu’s fiery ethos and passion have made themselves as important to pop culture as any of the better-known Western deities and legends.
Why, then, has Vishnu not received the same attention and direct acknowledgement as the likes of Zeus, Thor, and Hercules? In truth, Vishnu is starting to join our tapestry of films and comics, and in this blog we’ll be breaking down some of the core facets of Vishnu and how these aspects and story themes have slowly made their way into western pop culture.
Who Is Vishnu?
A battle-crazed warrior, laying a one-man siege to the fortress of a demon king. A guardian of humanity, protector of a higher cosmic order from the forces of evil and chaos. A raging man-lion, and a dwarf who can travel all of creation in three steps. All these, and more, are the incarnations of Vishnu, one of the central and most heroic deities of the Hindu pantheon.
While Brahma serves as “the creator” and Shiva “the destroyer”, Vishnu is considered the preserver of order, or Dharma. Many of his incarnations are warrior characters, often charged with righting a wrong—both personal and cosmic. However, in his more deitific incarnations, he is often portrayed with four arms, and evinces mystery, compassion, and light.
While he is famous for his more heroic incarnations like Rama or lion-headed Narasimha, Vishnu is most often portrayed as a four-armed deity, reclining on the coils of Sesha, King of the Serpents, as he dreams the universe into being.
Vishnu in Popular Culture
Up to this point, pop culture portrayals of Vishnu have not always been super developed in the West. Regrettable appropriations of his tale, such as in Indiana Jones and Western cartoons, are usually there to serve as an exotic strawman, or a punchline.
Fortunately that’s quickly changing. The Myths of India series has presented the stories of Vishnu in classic comic style. The story of Rama is well told in this series, as well as the story of Narasimha—but even still, this is a small drop in the bucket compared to the endless tellings and retellings that characters like Hercules and Thor have enjoyed over the years.
We’re also looking forward to River Comics’ upcoming series focusing on both Vishnu and his best-known avatar, Krishna. Given the varied stories and characterisations that almost all Hindu deities enjoy, it stands to reason that Vishnu will have many stories to share with us in the months to come.
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast. She enjoys writing about all things comics, films, and television, as well as travel and events. She has a love for adventure, interest in interiors, and a knack for covering developments in a range of industries, from HR to real estate, finance and more.
Budapest is filled with pubs, clubs and drinking spots for people of all types, including pop culture fans. If you’re planning a trip to the city and want to find a bar where you can drink affordable beer, play video games and have a laugh with friends, then your first stop should be Ready Player 1 bar. A drinking haven for geeks and gamers, Ready Player 1 is the kind of venue that can give you an appreciation for how pop culture brings people together.
Consoles from every decade
Ready Player 1 features an impressive range of gaming consoles, ranging from PS4s to a network of computers designed for cooperative gameplay. For people who want an immersive gaming experience, there’s a secret virtual reality/augmented reality room that’s kitted out with headsets. Solo players can also pick up a Gameboy and dive into the nostalgia of Pokemon and other retro series.
The bar stocks a vast collection of games, running the gamut from ‘90s classics like Spyro The Dragon to immortal franchises like FIFA. When I visited the bar, I jumped into a hardcore session of Injustice 2, which showcases the variety of the games on offer.
Comics are an important theme of the bar, with the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, Batman, Superman, Thor and several other superheroes decorating the wall. The other half of the bar features pictures of famous gaming characters like Geralt of Rivia, Kratos and Scorpion.
A community spirit
Atmosphere is another area Ready Player 1 excels in. Music is inspired by popular comic films like Guardians of the Galaxy. For example, one of the TVs displayed a Starlord-esque mix tape called ‘Awesome Mix Vol 3’ and it contained hits like Stuck In The Middle and California Soul.
Comic fans will also be pleased to know that Ready Player 1 offers a variety of comics to read. Whether you fancy reading a classic X-Men or Spider-Man story, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
But equipment and atmosphere can only go so far, and what truly makes Ready Player 1 worth visiting is the people in it. The owner is extremely friendly and happy to chat to anyone. He and his business partner wanted to create a venue that brings people from different communities together and unites them with pop culture. I’d say they are well on their way to doing that.
Ready Player 1 has everything that a pop culture fan could want: great consoles, cheap alcohol, good music and a welcoming attitude. Check it out when you’re in Budapest. You will not regret it. For more information, check out the Ready Player 1 website and Facebook page.
Address: Budapest, Kinizsi utca 29, Ferencvaros 1092.
Food is a great way of helping people get in touch with their culture. Someone born to parents from different countries might have only been able to taste a certain kind of cooking. For example, Nadia Van Dyne, the daughter of Hank Pym and a Hungarian woman called Maria Trovaya, may have grown up with limited exposure to her Hungarian roots.
Nadia’s childhood was spent in the Red Room and she only managed to escape after gaining Pym Particles. Determined to learn more about her parents, Nadia became the second Wasp. After escaping from the Red Room, she would have likely wanted to try as many different dishes as possible. For this edition of Comic Kitchen, I’ve put together a Hungarian inspired menu that would help Nadia feel closer to her heritage.
Starter – Jam Lángos
I can imagine Wasp wandering the streets of a city like Budapest, taking in all the sights, smells and sounds. Her curiosity would be peaked by the variety of street food on offer, and I could see her starting off with a plate of Lángos.
A Hungarian speciality, Lángos is a type of flat bread made from a combination of water, milk, flour, yeast, sugar and salt. The name comes from the Hungarian word for flame and it was traditionally baked in the ashes of a fireplace. The modern version of the dish is fried in oil and comes with different toppings, such as sour cream, grated cheese, ham and sausage.
I picture Nadia having a sweet tooth, so her Lángos would be smothered with jam. She’d enjoy the contrast of the sweetness and crunchiness.
Main – Pörkölt
After her starter, Nadia would continue her journey through Budapest until she reached a place like the Jewish Quarter, where music spills out of every bar and club. She’d sit down to rest in one of the quieter cafes and choose a hearty main course like Pörkölt.
This traditional Hungarian meal is made of boneless meat and galuska (Hungarian dumplings) seasoned with paprika. It can be accompanied by vegetables as well. Nadia would likely mix the meat and dumplings together to get the most out of the flavours.
As she ate, she’d probably wonder why Hungarians love putting paprika on everything and then decide to start adding paprika to her cooking when she got back to America.
Dessert – Kürtőskalács
Once she finished her main, Wasp would be craving something sweet again. I’d see her gravitating towards a food stall that sold Kürtőskalács, which is also known as chimney cake. The recipe is meant to have originated in Romania, but was adopted by Hungary in later years.
The dessert is made from sweet yeast dough that is wrapped into a chimney shape on a baking spit. Then, it’s roasted on charcoal and coated in sugar and butter. As the sugar caramalises, it forms a crispy outer crust that is golden-brown in colour. Additional ingredients like cinammon, nuts or chocolate might also be added.
I’d picture Nadia flying up onto a building overlooking the Danube river. She’d get comfortable, watch the sun set and tuck into her Kürtőskalács, enjoying the sensation of living in the moment, of being at one with her heritage.
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Travelling is a brilliant way to discover places you’ve never heard of, and Budapest has plenty of quirky sights to see. Hungary’s capital city is a melting pot of art, history, food, creativity and pop culture. If you’re planning a pop culture tour of Budapest, then you need to stop off at Comics Bar for a drinking experience that will have you feeling like a superhero by the end of the night.
Pop culture décor
Comics Bar can be found in the old Jewish Quarter, nearby the instantly recognisable Szimpla Kert ruin bar. As soon as you walk in, you’ll be greeted with the sight of DC and Marvel superheroes painted across the wall.
Spider-Man sits above the bar, clutching a wad of Hungarian forints he undoubtably took from a criminal and wanted to hold onto for safe keeping. Further along the bar, an Iron Man helmet adorns the wall, symbolising Tony Stark’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. Feel free to raise a glass to his memory when you sit down and order a drink.
Comic inspired drinks
The drink selection at Comics Bar is varied, ranging from cheap pints of beer to standard spirits like rum and gin. Best of all is the comic themed cocktail list named after some of Marvel and DC’s greatest characters.
Try the Captain America, with its potent blend of sambuca, grenadine and blue curacao. Mellow out with an Iron Man, a cocktail made up of Havana rum, citrus and Eper szirup. Feel like the fastest man alive by drinking a Flash, a concoction of Havana rum, Malibu and lime spiked with an energy drink shot.
Classic anti-heroes and villains get the cocktail treatment as well. Drink a Deadpool and enjoy the taste of black absinthe, grenadine and sambuca. Once you’ve finished it, you’ll feel like you’ve broken the fourth wall. Try a Magneto and revel in the power of vodka and citrus mixed with Ibolya szirup. Or go for The Joker, a cocktail that blends beefeater gin, citrus and Bodza szirup together. It’ll put a smile on your face.
With its quirky décor and unique drink selection, Comics Bar is a must-see venue for pop culture fans. For more information, be sure to check out their Facebook page.
The story of Superman is one of the most well-known superhero origins to ever be told. An alien baby crash lands on Earth and learns the value of humanity, thanks to the love of his supportive adoptive parents. Despite having the power to destroy the world, Clark Kent uses his abilities to save people and becomes a symbol for hope.
And then a film like Brightburn comes along and asks the question “what if Clark Kent was a psychopath who decided to use his powers to do whatever he wanted?” Inverting the Superman trope into something far more sinister, Brightburn mashes together horror and comics into a film that brings a new dimension to the superhero genre.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely
Brightburn follows the life of a 12-year-old boy called Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn), who isn’t exactly like the rest of the people in his town. Raised on a farm by adoptive parents, Brandon comes to realise that he has special abilities, which leads to a change in behavior. Concerned, his parents try to reach out to him, but Brandon becomes more disobedient.
Tori (Elizabeth Banks), Brandon’s mother, decides to tell him the truth about how he crash landed in a space ship when he was a baby. Feeling betrayed, Brandon lashes out and believes his purpose is to “take the world.”
What follows is a gorefest that sees Brandon turn from creepy kid with teenage angst to full-blown superpowered serial killer. But it’s not all chilling stares and angry screaming from Dunn. He does a good job of portraying Brandon’s vulnerability, and there are certain points where you can believe that he has a chance at redemption.
Elizabeth Banks’ performance is also praise-worthy for the level of emotion she brings to her role. She captures the anguish of a mother struggling to believe that her son can do anything wrong. This is especially true during the latter half of the film, where the bodies are stacking up and she’s forced to come to terms with the fact that Brandon might be beyond saving.
For all of Brightburn’s promise, there’s a sense that it doesn’t quite live up to its full potential. The film never gives a concrete reason for why Brandon’s behavior changes so drastically. Perhaps this was due to the movie’s short run time of 90 minutes, but if Dunn had more material to work with, I feel he could have made his character more complex and compelling.
With that said, the amount of subversion in the film is sure to please viewers who have become bored with the typical superhero origin story. Brightburn has the bleakest ending for a comic film I’ve seen since Avengers: Infinity War, which makes it more entertaining.
Some people aren’t born to be Superman. Some are born to be monsters. Those stories need to be told as well, and Brightburn succeeds as an alternative take on The Man of Steel mythos.
Superheroes spend a lot of their time fighting crime, so it’s no wonder that many of them work up an appetite. Comic Kitchen creates a three-course menu for a superhero and provides insight into food they enjoy. For heroes like Loa, food is a source of great joy. A native of Hawaii and member of the X-Men, Loa grew up with some of the most diverse dishes on the planet.
Starter – Ahi Poke
For a starter, Loa would want to eat something light, which is why she’d go for a Hawaiian classic like a bowl of poke. The name comes from the Hawaiian phrase ‘to slice’ and contains cuts of fish served with an assortment of vegetables and rice.
Ahi poke is one of the most popular variations. This bowl from Oke Poke is exactly the kind that Loa would enjoy. It features tuna, sushi rice, avocado, carrot, wakame, spring onion and ahi sauce.
I could imagine Loa appreciating the mixture of colours and different flavours. She’d savour the spicy taste of the ahi dressing, which is a combination of soy sauce, oil, sesame seeds, chili and salt. The end result is a starter that’s fresh, satisfying and healthy.
Main – Loco Moco
After the lightness of the starter, Loa would have room for a hearty Hawaiian meal like loco moco. Considered to be Hawaii’s version of comfort food, loco moco features rice topped with a hamburger patty and fried egg. The dish is finished off with succulent brown gravy or barbecue style rue.
Much debate surrounds the origin of the dish. According to one story, loco moco was developed in the 1940s by a woman called Nancy Inouye in the town of Hilo. Inouye wanted to give the hungry neightbourhood kids food they could afford, so she whipped together a meal that was inexpensive and easy to make. When thinking of what to call the dish, Inouye asked her husband, Richard and he said “the kids are crazy. Call it loco moco.” In another story, a boy nicknamed Loco became the first person to eat it, and the name stuck.
I could see Loa tucking into a plate of loco moco whenever she returned to Hawaii. She’d spend the day surfing, eat the food on the beach and watch the sun go down.
Dessert – Mochi
Hawaiian cuisine is a mash up of western and eastern influences, with many dishes being inspired by Japanese culture. Mochi is a popular dessert in Hawaii and was brought over by Japanese plantation workers in the mid-1800s. Made from rice, mochi is steamed and pounded into paste. Then, it is molded into balls and stuffed with a variety of fillings.
Loa would choose different flavours, such as the sesame seed, yuzu and matcha mochi found in Wasabi Dessert Room. Each cake provides a different contrast, from the sweetness of the yuzu to the savoury quality of the seeds. Loa would take bites from each cake so she could enjoy the flavours mixing together.
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