E ʻAi Kākou

Aloha e! Happy March! This week’s ethnic food highlight is on the onolicious Hawaiian food. Yes! But first, I want to share about the precious gift of life and gifts of the earth, or dōterra, a Latin derivative.

We’ve been told again and again how short life is. We don’t know how much time we have on this earth. Thus, it’s important to make the most of the life we’ve been given. This weekend, I lost a friend of mine. It was a shock to many people she knew, including myself. I’m deeply saddened, but happy that she’s in a better place. The pandemic made it challenging to see my friends last year. I’m glad I got to see her a month ago. Inadvertently, it was an unconscious closure I would need today. I miss her and have been reminiscing of the memories we had over our nearly 10-year friendship. Bottom line, life is too short. Make the best of it. Live a life of hope, joy, peace, and most importantly, no regrets. We want to look back on our life and be proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve lived.

The same dear girlfriend mentioned in last week’s blog, whom I visited in the Midwest in 2019, took her first trip to Hawai’i almost a decade ago. We had a marvelous time! It was an adventure showing her around the island; where I went to school, where I grew up, and all the sights of the town. One of the places I had to take my gf to was People’s Cafe. They serve delicious Hawaiian food (see featured image). One of the best, in my opinion. I was so excited for her to try the food of the Native Hawaiian people. These are the true gifts of the earth. Of the traditional Hawaiian foods that’s served, lau lau and poi are my top faves. I love eating the lau lau leaves that wraps the meat (usually pork or chicken) and a piece of fish. It’s mouthwatering. Reminds me of cooked spinach, but better! Poi, is pounded taro, or kalo, in Hawaiian. It has an acquired taste to some. People eat poi plain, while others, like me, mix it either with my Hawaiian food, like lomi lomi salmon or Kalua pig, sprinkle sugar, or have it with vanilla ice cream, and turn it into a poi cocktail. Yum! Check out People’s Cafe!

People’s Cafe
1300 Pali Hwy.
Honolulu, 96813

There is a fabulous organization on O’ahu called Hoʻokuaʻāina. They have a beautiful taro patch in Kailua. They are a mentoring program, where they teach their students about the Hawaiian culture and working in the taro patch. They sell raw kalo, kalo pa’a, and poi. The poi is out-of-this-world! The best poi I’ve tasted in my life! Plus, their poi doesn’t contain any pesticides or harsh chemicals. It’s organic and natural, and perhaps, that’s why it tastes so darn ʻono! It stays fresh for a long time. Other pois we’ve bought from the store get sour in a day or two after purchase. Sour poi is still good to eat, but I personally donʻt care for the sourness. Some people enjoy it and will wait for the poi to sour before consuming it. The poi from Hoʻokuaʻāina is still fresh a week later. Amazing!

Hoʻokuaʻāina has partnered with St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawai’i and hosts monthly webinars on rooted wellness and shares their organizationʻs mission and values. The founders of the organization and interns discuss ancient Hawaiian culture and how their ways of daily living and cultivating the foods they ate provided a great deal of foundation and an eye-opening revelation to wellness. The interns also share how their experience on how working in the taro patch has changed their lives and gave them a greater appreciation of the land and the Hawaiian culture. Here’s an article discussing kalo: https://www.hookuaaina.org/about-kalo/. I have a greater appreciation for the Hawaiian culture and its delightful food. Being born and raised in Hawai’i, I took it upon myself to learn the Hawaiian language. Even though I’m not of Native Hawaiian descent, I felt it was important to learn the language. Iʻm a native to this state and I want to gain a deeper understanding of the Hawaiian words, culture, and history.

Happy eating! Live life to the fullest. Live well. Live healthy. Lead with love, kindness, happiness, understanding, and forgiveness.

A hui hou, until we meet again.

FS x