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Native Hawaiian cuisine

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This article contains content from Wikipedia
An article on this subject has been nominated
for deletion at Wikipedia:
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/
Native cuisine of Hawaii

Current versions of the GNU FDL article on WP may contain information useful to the improvement of this article
[[Wikipedia:File:Poi pounder (pohaku ku'i poi), Hawaiian, 18th century or earlier, lava rock, HMA, 6201.1.JPG|thumb|Wikipedia:Lava rock Wikipedia:poi pounder dated from the 18th century or earlier. (From the Wikipedia:Honolulu Museum of Art's collection)]]

[[Wikipedia:File:Hawaiian poi dealer, photograph by Menzies Dickson.jpg|thumb|Hawaiian poi dealer. Photograph by Wikipedia:Menzies Dickson dated to between 1860 and 1870]] [[Wikipedia:File:Native Hawaiian man pounding taro into poi with two children by his sides., c. 1890s.jpg|thumb|Pouding Wikipedia:taro into poi. Taro plants can be seen growing in the background below the banana leaves]]

Traditional Hawiian foods predate contact with Europeans and immigration from China, Japan, and the Philippines. The earliest Wikipedia:Polynesian seafarers are believed to have arrived on the Wikipedia:Hawaiian Islands in 300–500 AD.Template:Ref label Few edible plants existed aside from few Wikipedia:ferns and fruits that grew at higher elevations. Various food producing plants were introduced to the island by Polynesian peoples including Wikipedia:taro (elephant ear) which was used to make poi, a staple on the Hawaiian Islands.

Wikipedia:Botanists and Wikipedia:archaeologists believe that these voyagers introduced anywhere between 27 to more than 30 plants to the islands, mainly for food.[1] The most important of them was Wikipedia:taro.[2] For centuries taro, and the poi made from it, was the main staple of the Hawaiian diet and it is still much loved. ‘Uala (Wikipedia:Sweet potatoes) and yams were also planted. The Wikipedia:Marquesans, the first settlers from Polynesia, brought ‘Ulu (Wikipedia:breadfruit) and the Wikipedia:Tahitians later introduced the Wikipedia:baking banana. Settlers from Polynesia also brought Wikipedia:coconuts and Wikipedia:sugarcane.[3] ʻAwa (Wikipedia:Piper methysticum, commonly known as kava) is also a traditional food among Hawaiians. Breadfruit, sweet potato, kava and he‘e (Wikipedia:octopus) are associated with the four major Hawaiian gods: Wikipedia:Kane, Wikipedia:Ku, Wikipedia:Lono and Wikipedia:Kanaloa.[4]

Fish, shellfish, and limu were and are abundant in Hawaii.[1] Wikipedia:Flightless birds were easy to catch and nests eggs from nests were also eaten.[1] Most Wikipedia:Pacific islands had no meat animals except bats and lizards. [5]

Ancient Polynesians sailed the Pacific with pigs, chickens and dogs as cargo and introduced them to the islands.[5] Pigs were raised for religious sacrifice,and the meat was offered at altars, some of which was consumed by priests and the rest eaten in a mass celebration.[5] The early Hawaiian diet was diverse, and may have included as many as 130 different types of seafood and 230 types of sweet potatoes.[6] Some species of land and sea birds were consumed into extinction.[7]

Wikipedia:Sea salt was a common condiment in ancient Hawaii.[8] Wikipedia:Inamona is a traditional Wikipedia:relish or condiment often accompanied meals and is made of roasted and mashed Wikipedia:kukui nutmeats, and sea salt. It sometimes mixed with seaweeds[8]

Culinary traditionsEdit

[[Wikipedia:File:Cibotium menziesii (5187986652).jpg|thumb|Hāpuʻu ʻiʻi, Hawaiian tree fern (Wikipedia:Cibotium menziesii) at Wikipedia:Mt. Kaʻala, Wikipedia:Oʻahu]] [[Wikipedia:File:Hookupu at Iolani Palace_(PP-36-8-013).jpg|thumb|Wikipedia:Hoʻokupu (gifts or offerings) presented on Wikipedia:King Kalākaua’s 50th birthday November 16, 1886 at the ʻIolani Palace Throne Room. Honolulu, Hawai‘i. The offerings are several hundred bowls of poi]] Early Polynesian settlers brought along with them clothing, plants and livestock and established settlements along the coasts and larger valleys. Upon their arrival, the settlers grew kalo (Wikipedia:taro), maiTemplate:Okinaa (Wikipedia:banana), niu (Wikipedia:coconut), and ulu (Wikipedia:breadfruit). Meats were eaten less often than fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Some did import and raise pua'a (Wikipedia:pork), moa (Wikipedia:chicken), and ʻīlio (poi dog). Popular condiments included pa'akai (Wikipedia:salt), ground kukui nut, limu (Wikipedia:seaweed), and ko (Wikipedia:sugarcane) which was used as both a sweet and a medicine.[9] The non-native species may have caused various birds, plants and land snails to go extinct.[10] Estuaries were adapted to fishing ponds (Wikipedia:aquaculture). Irrigation work was also used to farm taro.[11]

Men did all of the cooking, and food for women was cooked in a separate imu; afterwards men and women ate meals separately.Template:Ref label The ancient practice of cooking with the imu continues for special occasions[12] and is popular with tourists.

Hāpuʻu ʻiʻi, Hawaiian tree fern (Wikipedia:Cibotium menziesii) is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and the uncoiled fronds (fiddles) are eaten boiled. The starchy core of the ferns was considered a famine food or used as pig feed. It was prepared by peeling the young fronds or placing the entire trunk with the starchy center in an ʻimu or volcanic Wikipedia:steam vents. A saying was "He hāpuʻu ka ʻai he ai make" (If the hāpuʻu is the food, it is the food of death).

Wikipedia:Thespesia populnea wood was used to make food bowls.

Wikipedia:Cyanea angustifolia was eaten in times of food scarcity. It and the now endangered Wikipedia:Cyanea platyphylla are known in Hawaiian as Haha.

There is no fighting when eating from a bowl of poi. It is shared and is connected to the concept because Wikipedia:Hāloa (Taro), the first-born son of the parents who begat the human race. Hawaiians identify strongly with kalo/ taro, so much so that the Hawaiian term for family, ʻohana, is derived from the word ʻohā, the shoot or sucker which grows from the kalo corm. As young shoots grow from the corm, so people too grow from their family.[13]

Festivals and special occasionsEdit

[[Wikipedia:File:USMC-101120-M-2339L-071.jpg|thumb|A pa’ina served at the Wikipedia:Makahiki festival at Wikipedia:Bellows Air Force Station in Wikipedia:Waimanalo. Includes taro, poi, steamed rice and lomi lomi salmon. The Makahiki season from October until February honors the Hawaiian god Wikipedia:Lono (the Wikipedia:sweet potato god and the guardian of peace and health) as he arrives for the transition from Wikipedia:Ku, a time of war, politics and construction. Lono is a time of relaxation and celebration of life]]

At important occasions, a traditional Wikipedia:‘aha‘aina feast was held. When a woman was to have her first child, her husband started raising a pig for the ‘Aha‘aina Mawaewae feast that was celebrated for the birth of a child. Besides the pig, mullet, shrimp, crab, seaweeds and taro leaves were required for the feast.[14] The modern name for such feasts, Wikipedia:lū‘au, was not used until 1856, replacing the Hawaiian words ‘aha‘aina and pā‘ina.[15] The name lū‘au came from the name of a food always served at a ‘aha‘aina — young taro tops baked with Wikipedia:coconut milk and chicken or Wikipedia:octopus.

Pigs and dogs were killed by strangulation or by holding their nostrils shut in order to conserve the animal's blood.[16] Meat was prepared by flattening out the whole eviscerated animal and broiling it over hot coals, or it was spitted on sticks.[16] Large pieces of meat, such as fowl, pigs and dogs, would be typically cooked in Wikipedia:earth ovens, or spitted over a fire during ceremonial feasts.[5][16] Hawaiian earth ovens, known as an Wikipedia:imu, combine Wikipedia:roasting and Wikipedia:steaming in a method called Wikipedia:kālua. A pit is dug into earth and lined with Wikipedia:volcanic rocks and other rocks that do not split when heated to a high temperature, such as Wikipedia:granite.[17] A fire is built with Wikipedia:embers, and when the rocks are glowing hot, the embers are removed and the foods wrapped in ti, ginger or banana leaves are put into the pit, covered with wet leaves, mats and a layer of earth. Water may be added through a Wikipedia:bamboo tube to create steam. The intense heat from the hot rocks cooked food thoroughly — the quantity of food for several days could be cooked at once, taken out and eaten as needed, and the cover replaced to keep the remainder warm.[8] Sweet potatoes, taro, breadfruit and other vegetables were cooked in the imu, as well as fish. Wikipedia:Saltwater eel was salted and dried before being put into the imu.[18] Chickens, pigs and dogs were put into the imu with hot rocks inserted in the abdominal cavities.[8]

[[Wikipedia:File:USMC-101120-M-2339L-058.jpg|thumb|Procession offering gifts to Lono during the Wikipedia:hookupu protocol presentation of a Makahiki festival]] Pa’ina is the Hawaiian word for a meal and can also be used to refer to a party or feast. One tradition that includes pa’ina is the four month long Wikipedia:Makahiki Wikipedia:ancient Hawaiian New Year festival in honor of the god Wikipedia:Lono (referred to as the sweet potato god) of the [[Wikipedia:Hawaiian religion. Makahiki includes a first phase of spiritual cleansing and making hoTemplate:Okinaokupu offerings to the gods. The Konohiki, a class of royalty that at this time of year provided the service of tax collector, collected agricultural and aquacultural products such as Wikipedia:pigs, Wikipedia:taro, Wikipedia:sweet potatoes, dry fish, Wikipedia:kapa and mats. Some offerings were in the form of forest products such as feathers. The Hawaiian people had no money or other similar medium of exchange. The goods were offered on the altars of Lono at Wikipedia:heiau - temples - in each district around the island. Offerings also were made at the ahu, stone altars set up at the boundary lines of each community. All war was outlawed to allow unimpeded passage of the image of Lono. The festival proceeded in a clockwise circle around the island as the image of Lono (Akua Loa, a long pole with a strip of tapa and other embellishments attached) was carried by the priests. At each ahupuaTemplate:Okinaa (each community also is called an ahupuaTemplate:Okinaa) the caretakers of that community presented hoTemplate:Okinaokupu to the Lono image, a Wikipedia:fertility god who caused things to grow and who gave plenty and prosperity to the islands. The second phase of celebration includes: Wikipedia:hula dancing, of sports (boxing, wrestling, Wikipedia:Hawaiian lava sledding, Wikipedia:javelin marksmanship, Wikipedia:bowling, Wikipedia:surfing, canoe races, relays, and swimming), of singing and of feasting.[19] In the third phase, the waTemplate:Okinaa Template:Okinaauhau — tax canoe — was loaded with hoTemplate:Okinaokupu and taken out to sea where it was set adrift as a gift to Lono.[20] At the end of the Makahiki festival, the chief would go off shore in a Wikipedia:canoe. When he came back in he stepped on shore and a group of warriors threw spears at him. He had to deflect or parry the spears to prove his worthiness to continue to rule.


Template:Expand section

[[Wikipedia:File:Cordyline fruticosa plant with fruit.jpg|thumb|Wikipedia:Cordyline fruticosa plant, known as Ti, with fruit]]

[[Wikipedia:File:Pandanus_tectorius_fruit.jpg|thumb|Hala, the fruit of the Wikipedia:Pandanus tectorius tree]]


[[Wikipedia:File:Lightplate.jpg|thumb|Pork Wikipedia:Lau Lau Wikipedia:plate lunch of lau lau, kalua pork, lomi lomi salmon, poi, haupia, and rice. Plate lunches are believed to be an adaption of Japanese Wikipedia:bento box type service]]


[[Wikipedia:File:Bowl of poi.jpg|thumb|A bowl of poi showing its Wikipedia:viscous consistency]] thumb|An 1899 photo of a man making poi [[Wikipedia:File:Hawaiians eating Poi, photograph by Menzies Dickson .jpg|thumb|Hawaiians eating poi in a photo by Wikipedia:Menzies Dickson circa 1870. Dickson was a pioneering photographer on the islands who captured some of the earliest images of Hawaiian people]] Poi is the Wikipedia:Hawaiian language word for the primary staple food of Wikipedia:Polynesia. It is made from the underground plant stem or Wikipedia:corm of the taro plant (known in Hawaiian as Template:Lang). The cooked corm (baked or steamed) is mashed until it becomes a highly Wikipedia:viscous fluid. Water is added during mashing and again just before eating to achieve the desired consistency, in a range from liquid to dough-like. Depending on the consistency, poi can be known as "one-finger", "two-finger" or "three-finger" poi, alluding to how many fingers are required to scoop it up in order to eat it.

Taro, a root vegetable and the primary poi ingredient, was highly regarded by Hawaiians, who believed that the taro plant, or kalo, was the original ancestor of the Hawaiian people.[25] Poi was considered such an important and sacred aspect of daily Hawaiian life that it was believed that the spirit of Wikipedia:Hāloa, the legendary ancestor of the Hawaiian people, was present when a bowl of poi was uncovered for consumption at the family dinner table and all conflict among family members was required to come to an immediate halt.

Although taro is widely grown, only Hawaiians make poi. Hawaiians traditionally cook the starchy potato-like heart of the taro root for hours in an underground oven called an Wikipedia:imu. This type of oven is also used to cook other types of food such as pork, carrots and sweet potatoes.[26] Taro is also used for medicinal purposes.[27]

Poi has a paste-like texture, a delicate flavor, and a pale purple color. The flavor changes distinctly once the poi has been made. Fresh poi is sweet and edible all by itself. Each day thereafter the poi loses sweetness and turns slightly sour, due to a natural fermentation that involves Wikipedia:lactobacillus, Wikipedia:yeast and Wikipedia:Geotrichum.[28] Some people find poi more palatable if it is mixed with milk and/or sugar. The speed of this fermentation process depends upon the bacteria level in the poi.[29] To slow the souring process, poi should be stored in a cool, dark location (such as a kitchen cupboard or a lorry). Commercial poi stored in a refrigerator should be squeezed out of the bag into a bowl, and a thin layer of water drizzled over the top to keep a crust from forming.

Sour poi is still edible with salted fish or Wikipedia:lomi salmon on the side. Sourness is prevented by freezing or dehydrating, although the resulting poi tends to be bland in comparison to the fresh product. For best thawing results, microwave after a layer of tap water has been poured over the surface of the frozen poi. Sour poi is also used as a cooking ingredient, usually in breads and rolls. It has a smooth, creamy Wikipedia:mouthfeel.

Taro corm (kalo) is low in fat, high in vitamin A, and abounds in complex carbohydrates, making it easy to digest, especially for people with delicate stomachs. If consumed in excessive amounts, it may damage the liver.[30] Poi can also cause constipation and can be balanced by eating fruit.

Poi has been used as a Wikipedia:milk substitute for babies born with an allergy to dairy products .Template:Citation needed It is also used as a Wikipedia:baby food for babies with severe food allergies. Poi is Wikipedia:hypoallergenic and considered to be one of the easiest foods to digest. Research has recently shown that poi may help fight colon cancer by killing cancer cells in the colon.[31] Poi can also benefit people with Wikipedia:celiac disease, which is an allergy to the wheat protein gluten.[32]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Laudan 1996, p. 216.
  2. Nenes 2007, p. 478.
  3. Nenes 2008, p. 479
  4. Native Food, Native Stories January 24, 2012 Oiwi TV
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Brennan 2000, pp. 135–138.
  6. Adams 2006, pp. 90–92.
  7. Brennan 2000, p. 139.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Kane 1998, p. 53.
  9. Adams, 2006, pp. 90–92
  10. Burney, Back to the Future in the Caves of Kaua'i. pp. 83
  11. Kirch, Hawaiki, Ancestral Polynesia. pp. 130-131
  12. Corum 2000, p. 3
  13. Taro: Hawai'i' Roots
  14. Choy & Cook 2003, pp. 12–13.
  15. Pukui & Elbert 1986, pp. 214.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Schwabe 1979, p. 171.
  17. Choy & Cook 2003, p. 16.
  18. Brennan 2000, pp. 271–273.
  19. "HoTemplate:OkinaihoTemplate:Okinai Kulana Wahi pana - Restoring Sacred Places". Kamehameha Investment Corporation. 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  20. Template:Hawaiian Dictionaries
  21. Template:Cite journal
  22. "Cordyline", The International Tropical Foliage & Garden Society Inc.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 Authentic Hawaiian foods Culary Arts 360
  25. GRAIN | Seedling | 2006 | Haloa
  26. "What Is Poi Anyway?", Retrieved on November 13, 2012.
  27. The Medicinal Uses of Poi, retrieved on November 12, 2012.
  28. McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking. Scriber, 2004. ISBN 978-0684800011, pg. 295
  29. The Medicinal Uses of Poi.
  30. "Powered By Poi" Wikipedia:Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine Vol.11 No.4 (July 2007)
  31. Poi – The Ancient "New" Superfood, Retrieved on November 13, 2012.
  32. The Medicinal Uses of Poi, retrieved on November 14, 2012.

External linksEdit

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