What is Poi?

A popular Polynesian staple food that is made from the corm or stem of taro, Poi, is among the traditional dishes in the native Hawaiian cuisine. Traditionally, Poi is made by having the cooked corm, either steamed or baked, and then mashed until it turns into a viscous fluid. While mashing, water is added slowly to get the right thick consistency. The consistency of this dish may range from a liquid form to a dough-like consistency.

For some, Poi is called “three-finger”, “two-finger” or “one-finger”, because of how many fingers you will be using whenever you scoop it when eating. Aside from enjoying the dish right after it is prepared to get that natural sweet flavor, some people like leave it out to ferment a little to get a sour flavor. It all depends on how the dish is going to be used and eaten.

Though it has the same texture and preparation method as other dishes Polynesian dishes, it is different from the Samoan poi that is made from mashed ripe bananas and mixed with coconut cream. Also, it must not be confused with the Tahitian po’e that is made from mangoes, bananas, and papaya and is cooked with coconut cream and manioc. “Poi” is made from the pounding of cooked taro.

For slowing down the fermentation process to prevent poi from getting too sour, it should be stored in a dark and cool location or it should be refrigerated. When preparing frozen or chilled poi, it can be drizzled with a little bit of water to prevent the formation of crust.

Stay tuned for a quick and simple Poi recipe.

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