Taro: Maui Style

On trip to Maui for the Maui County Agricultural Festival, I was able to meet up with several farmers.  Having spent a lot of summers in Hawaii, I've had a lot of different type of taro dishes at all of the luaus and family parties.  This trip, I learned more about taro, the Hawaiian staple, at the Maui Tropical Plantation. There are about 85 different taro varieties grown in Hawai'i. The interesting thing is that the entire plant is edible, provides fiber and wholesome carbohydrates.

Farmer Bobby Pahia
Hoaloha Farms

A lot of the taro farming that I've seen in Hawai'i has been wet farming, like rice fields. But as a city boy, I'm more familiar with the dry type of farming that Hoaloha Farms does at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

Showing us the 3 different varieties
of taro grown on this farm.

The kalo (taro in Hawaiian) stalk are
replanted and the root is used to make poi and other
taro products.

Farmer Bobby showing
us the keikis (babies)
and how the stalks are replanted.

Considered a sacred plant by native Hawaiians,
taro is believed to be an ancestor of man.

Charlene Ka'uhune and Bobby Pahia
explaining taro is steamed
and then ground into a paste for poi.

We were able to sample it with some smoked meat.

I like eating poi with Kalua pork or a salty main dish, like fried fish

a main staple in the Hawaiian culture
and eaten in place of rice or potatoes.

It was not the typical purple color
that you might see at a lot of
luaus. This is due to a different
variety of taro used.

Hoaloha Farms*
Fresh Poi

The Best Poi,
I've had...

Taro was a big part
at the 2012 Ag Fest

Chef Sheldon Simeon (Star Noodle & Leoda's Kitchen)
teamed with
Farmer Bobby Pahia
to create this Taro Dumpling plate.

Taro was used 3 different ways:
dumpling, chip, and sauce

Judges' Choice Winner

Read more about the

(L to R) Rancher David Fitch, Chef Marc McDowell - Fan Favorite Award
Chef Sheldon Simeon, Farmer Bobby Pahia - Judges' Choice Award

to all of the chefs and farmers!

Heading to a Maui restaurant

Bobby Pahia

NOTE: I was guest of the Maui Visitors Bureau and their partners.
I thank them for the invitation and their hospitality.
All comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
*Photo by Hoaloha Farms
Jay Eats
© Jay Terauchi


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