“Hawaiian food especially is a way of bringing community together,” Hawaiian native and CSU freshman Alexis deFries said. She went on to explain that traditionally the entire community gathered to eat meals together daily.
Traditionally, Hawaiians ate 2 meals a day, brunch and early dinner. Hawaiians’ marchiarchial society also meant that the men did the cooking.
The heart of Hawaiian food lies in taro, a plant in the potato family. Taro is mashed to make poi, a starchy paste eaten with the fingers, symbolizing Hawaiian’s close connection with their food.
“There’s a lot of rules when it comes to eating,” Alexis explained. She said it is against the rules to add any additional ingredients to poi. This rule stems from the Hawaiian belief that the taro plant sprouted from the dead body of the first human. Consequently, Hawaiians refer to taro as their older brother.
No part of the taro plant is wasted. The plant’s root is eaten and mashed into poi, its stem is used to plant more taro plants and its leaves are used to wrap food when cooking and are also eaten.
Fish and pork are also traditional Hawaiian staples.
“You eat what’s there, you never waste it,” Alexis said, explaining that Hawaiians are also “thoughtful about seasons to fish [and] seasons to hunt.” Hawaiians are careful not to over-fish, over-plant or over-hunt and keep sustainability at the forefront of their minds. Hawaiians’ respect for their islands mirrors traditional Native American’s respect for their land.
Modern Hawaiian cuisine is also plentiful with rice and spam and influenced by immigrants from Asia and Europe. One cuisine staple is spam musubi, which consists of rice and meat wrapped in seaweed.
“That’s what’s in all our 7-Eleven stores,” Alexis said of spam musubi, explaining that chicken or beef is often substituted for the traditional spam.
Have you ever had traditional Hawaiian food?? What did you think?
Want to try some traditional Hawaiian Food??
Go to the Hawaiian Luau!!
When: April 29th, doors open @ 4 pm, show starts @ 5pm
Where: LSC Main Ballroom
More info: Tickets are available at the iBox or the door
photo credits to AR15.com