Thursday, April 19, 2007
Hawaiian Fun Food - How to eat and fall in love with POI.
Yes I said it... and I am one of those people who are totally in love with poi. Poi is a Hawaiian fun food. I love it with eggs and rice, ahi tuna, lomi lomi salmon, Hawaiian Lau Lau... Ohh yummy!
Hawaiian Poi is a purple root from the Taro plant that is pounded until it becomes paste like. It is one of the most nutritional form of carbohydrate in the world. I had made poi in my food processor which is not very sacred but it does work.
You have to start out right when tasting poi for the first time. Yes the first time with anything is important. You will decide yes or no.
I say yes!
Think of poi as kind of like yogurt, the unflavored kind, a bit sour. Poi when just made is not sour but after a couple days it turns sour, which is the way I like it best. Most Tu Tu's (grandmas) and aunties (name for most Hawaiian women over 50 or so out of respect) love their poi real sour too.
You need to try poi first at a authentic Hawaiian luau or a chance to go on one of the states Hawaiian food tours. Kalua Pig or chicken just out of the 'imu' is the Hawaiian way. An imu is an underground oven of sorts, done with banana leaves and rocks that are hand picked with great respect. Hawaiian fun food while different and entertaining also has many traditions of honor in Hawaiian history.
The feast will also include Lau Lau which is pork or chicken , a bit of salt pork wrapped up in a taro leaf which is covered then with banana leafs and either cooked in the imu or a pressure cooker or at least cooked for a very long time. Taro or lau lau leaves are the green leaves from the taro root. Taro leaves if not cooked for a very long time, at least 2 hours will give you what is called itchy throat, not exactly a Hawaiian fun food when it is not cooked long enough. I have had it before and while it is uncomfortable it is not the worst ever yet avoid it, why ruin a good lau lau or Hawaiian food tour?
Lomi, lomi salmon and rice are both traditional Hawaiian food served in this meal. Lomi lomi salmon is kind of like a tomato salsa.
OK.. so back to tasting. Take a bite of lomi lomi salmon and savor it. Next take a nice bite full of Lau Lau and rice, then finish it off with a one or two finger helping of poi.
Think yogurt at first. Blend the different tastes of all of the above and try to see how they compliment one another. Poi is what brings this all together... really!
Aloha and mahalo nui.
Check out my Hawaiian Squidoo. More info about travel and Hawaii and also my Hawaiian artwork.
The painting at the top is called "Poi Pounder" it is 34x40 oil on canvas. When I painted it I painting the color of the poi going up his arm, that may account for its magic. No matter where you stand in the room not only do his eyes follow you but his whole body. He is the watcher in my home usually. Right now this painting is hanging at Aloha Internet Cafe in Pahoa, Hawaii along with some 40 other paintings of my work. I am their artist in residence.