In this way, taro was the older brother and man the youngerboth being children of the same parents.Being first in birth, taro was considered superior to man himself.
It seems as if it is seen as the Rodney Dangerfield of the food world, getting virtually no respect.
But the long history of poi confirms that this Hawaiian staff of life actually has a spotless reputation and should more aptly be described as the Mother Teresa of foodstuffs. Whatever you call it, this perennial herb that we use to make poi is one of the oldest cultivated crops.
Then the taro was peeled with sharpened opihi shells.
Men then pounded the poi and it was stored while still quite firm, and water was added before serving.
But Preston's positive public poi proclamation is a raritymost unenlightened people scrunch their noses when poi becomes the topic of conversation.
Locals who grew up with the stuff and love it, like myself, learn to defend poi with a passion, taking it personally when someone unjustly criticizes it.
Several kinds of taro had such special flavor and color that they were reserved only for the chiefs.
The poi made from pink taro was served only to the alii while the rank and file made do with the coarse, bluish poi made from white taro.
Regardless of the variety of the taro, ancient Hawaiians used the same process to make poi.
They baked or steamed the taro corm, or tuber, in underground ovens.
The corm would then be mashed and mixed with water to make poi. After the arrival of the white man, taro was boiled in pots over wood fires.