The taro, or kalo, plant holds a special place in Hawaiian culture with legend stating that the first Hawaiian, Halao, was born from the sky in the form of a taro plant. Poi is a traditional starch in Hawaiian cuisine typically eaten with meat or on its own, and is even used by some as baby food, as it’s packed with calcium, iron, and probiotics. Poi is made by pounding steamed or baked taro root until it reaches a smooth sticky consistency and then adding water to the mixture to achieve the desired thickness. Try looking for poi online in powder form and mix with water before adding to other recipes.
Flavor and Texture of Poi
This sticky and purple Hawaiian staple is typically sweet with a hint of sour that gets stronger as it ages due to the fermentation process. It has a pudding-like texture, with varying levels of thickness referred to as one-finger, two-finger, or three-finger. For thicker poi, go for a lower finger count.
Storage and Usage of Poi
Keep poi in a cool, dark, dry spot for up to four days. For a slightly longer shelf life, place poi in the refrigerator in a bowl and cover with a thin layer of water to keep the surface from developing a crust. Poi can also be frozen for up to six months and thawed in the refrigerator or microwave later on.
Add some powdered poi to a smoothie for an extra health boost or combine the powder with water to make traditional poi and enjoy it while it’s still sweet with a little bit of extra sugar on top. When the fermentation creates a more sour version, pair poi with salty meat such as salmon or our Kalua Style Pork.