There are both wetland and dryland kalo Wetland varieties could be grown on stream banks, in marshy areas of freshwater spring or in “patches” or pondfields called lo`i
Kalo was planted, harvested, cooked and served by men. The construction of a lo'i kalo or taro patch required the knowledge and labor of practicing engineers. Ancient Hawaiian planters cultivated kalo to a higher degree than was known anywhere else in the world. They built walls of earth that were structured with stone to enclose the pond field. Situated in rich lands of valleys they were located in areas where fresh cold water could flow from the upper to the lower patches.
Kalo corms were sometimes eaten in chunks after being baked, but most commonly eaten as poi Traditionally, done by men Pa`i `ai when the mass is smooth and solid Ferments less readily this way Portions of the pa`i `ai were mixed with water (called ho`owali) each day as needed for meals Some prefer it fresh, others like it two or three days old – slightly fermented or “sour” – Poi was at the heart of the traditional Hawaiian diet, routinely eaten at every meal except in times of shortage
Pōhaku ku`i `ai Papa ku`i `ai – most made of `ulu or `ōhi`a lehua wood Some large enough for two men to use at once
Leaves – lū`au – were cooked and eaten Laulau – Dessert: Kūlolo – fresh corm is grated, mixed with coconut cream, wrapped in ti-leaves and steamed in an imu
Important to kahi or wipe the inside rim of the bowl above the poi so that the sides were clean
In olden days, relatives and friends exchanged products. The upland dwellers brought poi, taro, and other foods to the shore to give to the people there. The shore dweller gave fish and other seafoods. Visits were never made empty handed but always with something from one’s home to give. Poi tastes much better with salted meats. If there is no meat, one can make a meal of poi and salt
Cultivated and eaten throughout the islands Important because it grew in areas that were deemed unfit for even dryland kalo Many varieties of `uala according to the color of the leaves both on top and bottom, the shape of the leaves, colors of the leaf veins, and the color of the tubers both inside and outside
Grown in pu`e (mounds) that formed a māla (patch), usually surrounded by stone walls In preparing `uala fields, kanaka maoli would call upon Kamapua`a through chants, so that pigs would come to root and soften the soil and make planting easier. Usually planted on the first to sixth days after the new moon (nights designated as Hilo, Hoaka & the four Kū nights) – and at full moon. `Uala grows better in moist soil than in dry, they do not flourish in soil that is continually wet The tubers root very easily and they usually started new plants from slips, or vine cuttings Development of roots was sometimes promoted by first enclosing bundles of slips in damp lā`ī or ti-leaves Two or three slips were placed in each mound, in holes made about 6-8 inches deep with their `ō`ō, and the earth was pressed down around them As time passed, the branches of each vine were twisted together around their own bases and covered with earth to induce each plant to produce larger tubers rather than more leaves
Usually cooked in an imu In dry areas that lacked steady sources of running water necessary for the best kalo cultivation, `uala was made into poi Poi `uala is not as sticky or cohesive as poi kalo, so it was made and prepared slightly differently Ferments rapidly, so it was likely made in smaller quantities that poi kalo
Sweet potato is a plant that matures in a few months As long as there are sweet potatoes, even small or broken ones, a farmer gets along
`Ulu poi – pounded and mixed with water in nearly the same way as kalo. More common in coastal areas where poi kalo often fell into short supply Simplest means was to simply make it in the imu or pulehu it – cook it on the coals of an open fire
KALO• Taro (Colocasia esculenta)• In Hawaiʻi, taro has been the staple from earliest times to the present, and here its culture developed greatly, including more than 300 forms.• All parts of the plant are eaten, its starchy root principally as poi, and its leaves as lūʻau.
KALO: GROWING PRACTICES Lo`i : Irrigated terrace, especially for taro
KALO: PREPARATION & CONSUMPTIONPa`i `ai• Hard, pounded but undiluted taro; heavy, as poorly made cake.Poi• Poi, the Hawaiian staff of life, made from cooked taro corms, or rarely breadfruit, pounded and thinned with water.
TOOLS• Ku`i – to pound• `Ai – food; often refers specifically to poi; to eat• Pōhaku ku`i `ai• Pōhaku ku`i `ai puka• Papa ku`i `ai
KALO: FOODS• Kalo poi• Cooked in an imu• Lū`au• Laulau• Kūlolo• Kalo chips
`ŌLELO NO`EAU• Pau `ole nō ka `umeke i ke kahi, pau `ole nō ka lemu i ka hāleu. When one does not clean the sides of the poi bowl properly, he is not likely to wipe his backside clean after excreting.
`ŌLELO NO`EAU• Ko koā uka, ko koā kai Those of the upland, those of the shore• I komo ka `ai i ka pa`akai It is the salt that makes the poi go in
`UALA• The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), a perennial, wide- spreading vine, with heart- shaped, angled, or lobed leaves and pinkish-lavender flowers. The tuberous roots are a valuable food, and they vary greatly in many ways, as in color and shape.
`UALA: PLANTING PRACTICES• E Kamapua`a, Eia ka māla a kāua Ma `ane`i `oe e `eku ai Mai kēlā ī kā a kēlā ī kā A hiki i kēia kuaiwi Mai hele aku `oe ma waho O pā `oe i ka pōhaku
`UALA: PREPARATION• Cooked in an imu• Poi `uala• Piele – Pudding of grated taro, sweet potato, yam, banana, or breadfruit, baked in ti leaves with coconut cream• Kō`elepālau – A pudding of sweet potatoes and coconut cream
`ŌLELO NO`EAU• He `uala ka `ai ho`ōla koke i ka wī The sweet potato is the food that ends famine quickly• Ola nō ka lawai`a i kahi kū`ō`ō A farmer can subsist on small, broken potatoes
`ULU• Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)• It belongs to the fig family, and is grown for its edible fruits, sometimes for ornament.• The leaves are large, oblong, more or less lobed; fruits are round or oblong, weighing up to 4.5 kilos, when cooked tasting something like sweet potatoes