Breaking News: ‘Hawaiian Rolls’ Are Not Actually Made In Hawaii
If you go to a Chinese restaurant in Sioux Falls, there is an understanding that the food you will eat was not actually made in China. It's not uncommon for a food to be named after a place but the food itself was not made there.
Case in point: Hawaiian sweet rolls.
There is a man in New York state who has begun a class-action lawsuit against the makers of King's Hawaiian sweet rolls. Robert Galinsky says the packaging prominently features Hilo, Hawaii on the front and that he was misled into buying the rolls believing they were made in Hawaii. However, a quick flip to the back of the package shows they are actually made in Torrance, California.
Galinsky's lawsuit says the company "is the leading seller of Hawaiian Rolls and essentially invented this category of food." The suit goes on to say that King's has previously taken legal action against other roll makers for using the phrase "Hawaiian rolls" in advertising.
Digging into the history of King's Hawaiian rolls shows they were actually invented in Hilo by Robert Taira in the 1950s. By 1977 the Taira expanded the company into California and by 1992 King's completely left Hawaii.
Technically Galinsky is correct in that King's rolls are no longer made in Hawaii, but the rolls were invented there. It will be interesting to see how fast the court throws this case out.
Bonus: Here's a quick recipe for Western Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders using Hawaiian Rolls. It tastes good enough that you'll forget that the rolls were made in California.