OLE TRADITIONAL LUAU
Lahaina Travel Blog› entry 8 of 33 › view all entries
September 22nd, 2008 – by: mellemel8
MAKE ME WANT TO SING "TINY BUBBLES IN HAWAII"
I went to Lahaina back in 2006. My momâs timeshare was 5 miles from the Lahaina Mall in Honokowai. We arrived at the âOLD LAHAINA LUAUâ very early which is perfect. The luau is near my favorite place to eat 2 years ago, ALOHA MIXED PLATE and behind the mall. We all looked refreshed and clean. It did not look like we got ready in a beach bathroom HAHAHA.
We finally were allowed to enter. There was a server serving mai tais, both the girls got a drinks.
We put our belongings on our assigned chairs. We had plenty of time to check out the crafts and photo opportunities around the area. The sun was setting I wanted to take photos of us during the sun setting. It was quite difficult considering it was a cloudy night. the last time I went to a Hawaiian luau, it was back in 1993 in Oahu. There were natives craving wooden masks and Hawaiian warriors, making grass animals and hats, baskets, bowls and such.
Then we walked back to our table were we got acquainted with the other people who are sitting in the same table as us. They were a party of 13 from Iowa, the family wedding party. The bride and groom were getting married the day after the luau. Then it was âYANKING THE PIG OUT OF THE GROUNDâ TIME!!!! 2 Hawaiians came out bringing the wooden holder. One Hawaiian dug up the pig while the other talked about the history of the IMU and the Hawaiian people. Shortly thereafter, they pulled out the pig. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO so moist and tender that when they threw it in the container, all the meat fell off the bone, hmmmm I hope they also serve the skin. Itâs the best part.
We were taking table by table to be served buffet style to traditional Hawaiian dishes and assorted seafood, chicken and steak. I took I little bit of everything. I mainly wanted the seafood and the kalua pork as well. I enjoyed the taro salad, and sweet potato. This is truly a wonderful luau. That is when I ordered my GOOSE on the rocks. Eddie, our waiter was very patience and funny with us. After the mai tais, the girls tried the honey girl, vodka, pineapple, strawberry and guava. Andy, who is the groomâs brother was talking to us, I sat next to him. We were all laughing together. He was cute too. What is with me with the bald guys HAHAHAHA. He took an energy boost with his long beach drink. He drank about 5 of them all the night. He had a high tolerance level.
It was Hawaiian dancing time.
I dubbed Eddie, our waiter, Raiden, as in MORTAL KOMBAT. He had on a grass hat like Raiden HAHAHAHA. he kept on flirting with us asking whereâs the party?!!?!? He was like 15 years old looking HAHAHA. Us 3 were the only non looking Americans, which means we donât have blond hair blue eyes stereo typical American. All the naives were asking us which island we are from and are we visiting relatives in Maui HAHAHAHA.
After the luau, we went grocery shopping for the week. it was close to 12am and we were thankful there was a 24hr. market. We got spagatti sauce, ground meat, water, eggs, snacks and ice cream. You know the necessities HAHAHAHA. I took photos of some to the local fruits grown in Hawaii and the different ice cream brands that I have not seen before.
We planned the next day to be just kicked back. The girls wanted to go shopping in Lahaina and go swimming. The day was very long. We woke up early for the activities briefing, lunch, drove to the blowhole, swam at Kapalua bay, luau in Lahaina, and grocery shopping.
THIS IS ONLY DAY 1âŠ..
HISTORY OF LUAU
A luau (in Hawaiian, lĆ«âau) is a Hawaiian feast. Small Balls may feature food, such as poi, kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, haupia, and beer; and entertainment, such as Hawaiian music and hula. Among people from Hawaii, the concepts of "luau" and "party" are often blended, resulting in graduation luaus, wedding luaus, and birthday luaus.
Etymology and history
According to Pukui & Elbert (1986:214), the name "luau" goes back "at least to 1856, when so used by the Pacific Commercial Advertiser." Earlier, such a feast was called a "paina" (pÄâina) or ahaaina (âahaâaina).
Common luau foods
* Poi. "[T]he Hawaiian staff of life, made from cooked taro corns, or rarely breadfruit, pounded and thinned with water" (Pukui & Elbert 1986:337). It can be thick or thin, and can be new and sweet, or old and tangy (fermented). Hawaiians also had poi maiâa "[m]ashed ripe bananas and water" before 1778, and thereafter, poi palaoa "[f]lour poi, made by stirring flour in hot water, eaten alone or mixed with taro poi". Breadfruit poi is called poi âulu. Another of the various pois is poi âuala, or paâi âuala, "[c]ooked and compressed sweet potatoes allowed to ferment slightly and used as a substitute for poi when poi was scarce" (Pukui & Elbert 1986:303, 337).
Two hosts of the luau are removing the pig from the ground, after being slow cooked for 18 hours.
Two hosts of the luau are removing the pig from the ground, after being slow cooked for 18 hours.
* Poke. The traditional Hawaiian poke was raw fish, gutted and sliced across the backbone. The slices still had skin and bones, which were spit out after all the flesh had been eaten. Poke was eaten with condiments such as salt, seaweed, and crushed roasted kukui nuts (inamona). Modern poke is made with skinned, deboned, and carefully filleted fish, and takes a variety of dressings and condiments. Poke means "slice" in Hawaiian (Pukui & Elbert 1986:337).
* Lomilomi salmon. Raw salmon "worked with the fingers and mixed with diced tomatoes, onions and seasoned with seasalt" (Pukui & Elbert 1986:212). Lomi means "mash".
* Laulau. "Packages of ti leaves or banana leaves containing pork, beef, salted fish, or taro tops, baked in the ground oven, steamed or broiled" (Pukui & Elbert 1986:196).
* Kalua pig. Pork cooked in a pit oven (imu). A whole dressed pig (puaâa) is salted, wrapped, lowered into the ground oven, and covered. KÄlua is the earth-oven cooking method (Pukui & Elbert 1986:123).
* Opihi (âopihi). Raw limpet meat. Three species are called koele (kĆâele), alinalina (âÄlinalina), and makaiauli (makaiauli) (Pukui & Elbert 1986:292).
* Chicken long rice. Cellophane noodles (also known as "long rice"), simmered in chicken broth and served hot with pieces of chicken.huk
* Haupia (haupia). Coconut-arrowroot pudding. Cornstarch is substituted for the arrowroot (Pukui & Elbert 1986:62).
* Kulolo (kĆ«lolo). Coconut-taro pudding (Pukui & Elbert 1986:181).
At modern luaus, drinks may include beer, soda, juice, etc. Many 19th century public luaus would have been "teetotal". At the lavish private luaus hosted by 19th century figures like the genial King Kalakaua, imported wine and hard liquor were prominent items on the menu.
Hawaiian feasts before 1778 would have featured pork, chicken, dog, seafood, bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, and taro.
Before the breaking of the kapus in 1819 (the âAi Noa), Hawaiian men and women ate separately, and certain foods, such as pork and most species of bananas, were forbidden to women.
WHAT IS AN IMU? - Hawaiian Underground Oven
Anyone who has experienced a contemporary Hawaiian lu'au (feast) will find kalua pig a main part of the menu.
Throughout Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and even the Americas, traditional underground ovens have been utilized to cook and steam food. The Hawaiians used a pit oven, called an imu, to steam whole pigs, breadfruit, bananas, sweet potatoes, taro, chicken, and fish. The imu was essentially an underground pressure cooker. Due to the amount of time and labor to prepare the imu, most earth oven cooking was done for group meals, festivities, or religious ceremonies.
To build an imu, a lua or round pit, about 2 feet to 4 feet deep with sloping sides, is dug into the earth.
Since the cooking process requires steam and not dry heat, green plant materials are needed to create the steam. The Hawaiians utilized grass and leaves for their imu cooking. Some of the traditional plants were banana stumps, ti leaves, honohono grass, banana leaves, and coconut palm leaf (see the section on "Modern Adaptations on Imu Cooking" for plant substitutes). The common term used today to describe the green vegetation material and its use is hali'i, which is used to mean "to spread like the mat covering the floor".
Preparation is an important process to ensure a successful cooking. While the stones are being heated in the pit, gather and prepare any plant material you will need. If you'll be using banana stumps, they will have to be cut into sections smaller than the diameter of the pit. The sections are sliced lengthwise, either in half or quartered, depending on the size of the trunk. Then, the sliced stumps are pounded with a rock to break up the fibers and to release the moisture in the stumps. If a whole pig is going to be cooked, the skin and the inside cavity area are rubbed with a small amount of rock salt. When the stones are about ready, place all your food and vegetation materials near the pit. Also, lay your covering material next to the imu. Traditionally, the covering material before the final dirt cover were old lauhala mats or worn tapa cloth (see the section on "Modern Adaptations on Imu Cooking" for contemporary covering materials).
When the heated stones are ready, it is time to layer the imu with green vegetation, food, covering material, and dirt. The first layer of hali'i is laid directly over the hot rocks to prevent the food from being scorched and to create steam for cooking. If you have access to a banana trunk, use smashed banana stumps. Next, a second layer of hali'i is placed over the first layer. In Old Hawai'i, the green vegetation was ti leaves. This second layer is important in that it touches the food and adds flavor to the cooking meal. The food is placed on top of the ti leaves. If you are cooking a whole pig, a few hot stones are also placed inside the body cavity to insure the pig is well cooked. A third layer of hali'i covers the food. The old way used ti leaves with young, whole banana leaves on top.
Estimating the time it takes to cook the food depends on the heat of the imu, the thickness of the hali'i, the kind of food, and the mass of the food. A large whole pig, in a good hot imu, may take from 6 to 8 hours of steaming time. When the cooking is done, brush away any loose dirt from the edges of the covering material. Remove the dirt from the lauhala mats or tapa cloth. Carefully lift off the covering material and avoid getting any dirt into the imu. Uncover the layers of hali'i and serve up your delicious meal.
Modern Adaptations on Imu Cooking:
For those who do not have access to any of the traditional Hawaiian plants for imu cooking, there are vegetation substitutes that you can use. Any plant that can provide steam, will not make the food taste bad, and is not toxic can be used. You can get some of these plant materials from the grocery store for free, like lettuce trimmings. Just ask your local grocery store and tell them what you need for your imu cooking.
Below is a list of some of the plant substitutes:
2. Corn stalks and corn husks
3. Cabbage leaves (be aware that your meat will have the taste of cooked cabbage)
6. Cottonwood leaves
Contemporary materials may be utilized for the imu cooking.
1. Chicken wire to contain the pig. It makes removing a whole pig from the imu a lot easier. Other foods can be wrapped together with chicken wire.
2. Soaked burlap bags for the covering material. The soaked bags can also substitute for some of the vegetation materials to provide steam.
3. Plastic tarp or flattened cardboard boxes for the covering material.
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