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The “Aloha Spirit” of these classic dinners rolls is the reason they reign supreme at any social function. 

Briana Riddock 
August 23, 2017

King’s Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls holds a special place in my heart. The pillowy, ultra-soft, gently sweet rolls make an appearance at almost every family cookout and barbecue that I’ve ever been to. That signature orange packaging is instantly recognizable, and bringing a set of these pull-apart rolls to any gathering is a sweet gesture of hospitality, especially if there is barbecue sauce involved. Experience shows that the standard 12-pack is a fine place to start, however, one package is usually never enough. These rolls are the perfect conduit for drippings of sauce left on your plate from a rack of smoked ribs. If the yeast-based dinner rolls are present on a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table, they are ideal for sopping up thick gravy and cranberry sauce. Within my precisely curated spread of masterfully roasted turkey and side dishes, a warm basket of these store-bought rolls always fall seamlessly into its rightful spot on the table. The essence of this dinner roll is that it’s appropriate on the table at any point in the year. That’s exactly why Hawaiian Rolls will always be relevant.  

The rolls almost melt in your mouth, as if they were butter-fortified cotton candy. Oh yeah, that reminds me, these rolls are tasty as they are, but when you spread a pat of butter in the center of a warmed roll—consider it gone-in-one-bite. Seeing a sheet of King’s in the oven fills me with a feeling of joy similar to what I experience t when I see the Krispy Kreme Doughnut light on. You know it’s going to be warm and tender as the sweet aroma that fills your nose… and you know that it’ll be nearly impossible to restrain yourself to one. Beyond being vehicles for liquids too delicious not to sop, they can be used as buns for sliders or turned into mini sandwiches. These glorious rolls can also be stuffed with savory pork tenderloin for a version of pork buns that are perfect as an appetizer for tailgating or television watch parties. The sweet rolls obviously save you time, but they’re also a quick alternative to homemade, that nobody (or at least, nobody I know) would turn their nose up at. 

You can enjoy the rolls at room temperature, pop them in the microwave for five to ten seconds, or warm them in the oven for a few minutes—whatever your heart desires. Once you remove the plastic, they can bake directly in the tray they’re packaged in. And if you or loved ones have nut allergies, feel at ease that you can enjoy these beauties, as they are baked in nut-free facilities. Not to mention, all of the ingredients used are Kosher certified

The story of King’s Brand Sweet Hawaiian rolls starts in Hilo, Hawaii where a son of Japanese immigrants created the staple dinner roll. Robert R. Taira opened his fist bakeshop, named after himself, debuting the soft rolls in the 1950’s. Taira moved the bakeshop location to Honolulu on King Street in 1963 where the bakery was renamed King’s Bakery. What’s the special ingredient that keeps the Hawaiian rolls on the shelves even today? It’s gotta be the Aloha Spirit. Aloha Spirit is the personification of warmth, charm, sincerity in everyday life. It’s a philosophy passed from Native Hawaiians to the Hawaiian people and the islands’ visitors (and also, obviously, to delicious bread). With this in mind, it’s no wonder the rolls deliver a sensation of general comfort. It was not until 1977 that the bakery expanded to the continental U.S. to increase distribution with facilities in Torrance, California, where the company is still family-owned and operated. 

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With each Hawaiian roll baked and served with the Aloha spirit, it’s clear to me why my family and friends maintain the rolls as a mainstay on our table during times of celebration and joy. You can find King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls at your local grocery store in the bakery department or on the bread aisle.     

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