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Hawaiian Poi Goodness

Maui Food

PoiAnyone who has been to a lu’au has probably had the chance to try some Hawaiian poi. For many newcomers, they find it to be rather “interesting” and many describe the taste as subtle or even a little bland. Everyone has their own set of taste buds, but most kama’aina will agree that poi is both yummy and very nutritious.

It can be eaten by itself, or you can eat it with poke or kalua pig, or even lomi lomi salad. It takes the place of rice, potatoes, or bread. Many Hawaiian mothers feed their infants poi because of its nutritional value. Poi is good for everyone, young and old. It’s a great source of fiber and vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and B-1, iron, magnesium and potassium. Another good thing is that poi won’t make you fat, with fewer calories than rice (one cup of ready-to-eat poi has 120 calories; one cup of cooked rice has 250 calories).

But… just what is this gooey purple pudding-like paste? The ancient Hawaiians revered poi, and today Hawaiians continue to praise the benefits of poi. It is made from the popular taro plant. The corm of the plant is mashed down methodically while slowly adding water until it turns into a nice gooey paste. Fresh poi has an almost sweet flavor to it, while 3 or 4 day old poi tastes a little more sour because of the fermentation process.

If you’re new to poi, give it a try. Traditionally, it was eaten with two or three fingers. These days, go ahead and use your fork or chop sticks. Try it by itself, then try it with a piece of poke or kalua pork. The flavor of the other foods will bring out the flavor of the poi, and most likely you like be hooked.

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Humuhumunukunukuapua’a – What is it, and how the heck do you say it?

Maui Facts

HumuWhen you visit Maui, you will hear all sorts of Hawaiian words, some are easy to say and remember… but some are definite tongue twisters. Here’s one that will take some practice to wrap your tongue around… but it’s a fun one and will come in handy after a day of snorkeling. It is humuhumunukunukuapua’a and it’s Hawaii’s state fish. It’s a tropical reef trigger fish, and one that you will probably see when you go snorkeling in Maui waters. So, after you come out of the water, you can announce to everyone that you saw a humuhumunukunukuapua’a!!

But, before you go announcing to the world, you’ll have to learn how to say this gigantic word that has more letters than a centipede has legs. I know what you’re thinking, “How the heck am I going to be able to say this one??” Well, actually, after repeating it a few times, it’s actually pretty easy… and, well…. fun! Here’s how you pronounce it: “who-moo-who-moo-noo-koo-noo-koo-ah-pooah-ah”. Not so bad, ya? Well, to hear it said in person by a local is key to learning how to say this HUGE word with total ease and Hawaiian finesse. So, when you hop on our shuttle at the airport, don’t be afraid to ask our driver how to say this word! And ask again when you get to our office to pick up your car. Be sure to practice during your stay in Maui, because we just may quiz you later!

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Maui Living

Maui Facts

hawaiianMaui is known by the locals as being “Maui No Ka Oi”, which means “Maui Is The Best”… and out of all of the islands it truly is a garden paradise with beautiful beaches and tropical rain forests filled with lush vegetation and waterfalls.

The pace of Maui is slow and languid, with the day beginning with the sunrise. Many people head out to the beach early to catch the early morning surf before heading into the office. And when the sun sets, the night is dark and the stars are vivid and bright. The night comes early, and is so pitch black, that you’ll find that most people here on Maui end their day early as well. Up early… and ending early. When the sun rises, the day awaits for you to explore this island beauty.

Unlike the mainland, most of the adventures to be found on Maui are mainly outdoors. They usually involve the beach, such as sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, stand up surfing, fishing, SCUBA diving, windsurfing… the list goes on and on. Then, further inland there is incredible hiking. Maui boasts an incredible amount waterfalls and natural pools for swimming. The island offers so much to do and see on land as well as on and in the sea.

The people of Maui strive to keep Maui pristine and undeveloped. Although sometimes it is hard to stop the progress of Man, Maui remains a beautiful island paradise and a natural playground for those seeking its beauty.

People that visit Maui often mention how they were struck by the warm tropical air filled with the smell of plumeria flowers once they come out of their airplane. And, the spirit of Aloha, is still very much alive. The Hawaiian traditions are very much alive, as well. There are many Hawaiian words that you will hear during your stay, which you may learn while here to share with the folks back home. The first one is ‘Aloha’. We use it in greetings and farewells and in expressing love. But the word means even more, it is a way of life. It means a joyful sharing of life energy in the present moment. It is a powerful word, so when you say it, picture this in your mind. Aloha is more than a word… it is in essence, the Hawaiian way… the Hawaiian spirit. You will feel it, and may you also share it.



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Honu – Sea Turtles of Maui

Maui Facts

Hawaii Sea TurtleToday’s Hawaiian word of the day is HONU. Honu is Hawaiian for turtle, and it is the green sea turtle you will most commonly see while snorkeling here in Maui waters. They are an ancient reptile, dating back to 75 million years ago. There are three main native turtle species of Hawaii, the green sea turtle, the hawksbill, and the leatherback, but it is the green sea turtle which is most plentiful. There are laws in place to protect the turtles, and their numbers have risen in recent years due to these laws and the efforts of many groups that help promote the species. People here in Maui love the honu, and it is important to remember to respect these gentle, beautiful creatures.

You will most likely see the honu (sea turtle) while snorkeling in most areas of the island. They may gently approach a slow moving snorkeler allowing for great photo opportunities. They are not intimidated by humans, and are actually a bit curious and very friendly, trusting humans to respect them in turn. Please keep a distance of ten feet, and do not try to touch them. There are laws in place to protect them, so please do not chase them. Simply enjoy them as they swim close. It is quite an experience, and one you won’t soon forget. You may even see them on the beach, sunbathing. Turtles will sometimes come ashore to bask in the sun!

You may have heard of Turtle Town. Although turtles can be found everywhere, and all of Maui could be considered Turtle Town, there is a large number of turtles in the southern parts of the island where algae is lush. Turtles are mainly vegetarian. They feast on limu (seaweed) and the occasional jelly fish. Many turtles are born on the southern shores, and so the turtles will often return to where they were born and where food is abundant.

hawaiian sea turtle

hawaiian sea turtles

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Aloha Is a Way of Living

Maui Facts

Aloha is a common word here in Hawaii which quickly translates to “hello”, “goodbye” and “love”. But aloha is so much more than that. Aloha is a way of living. Living with the aloha spirit is the Hawaiian way. Many of us who are fortunate enough to live in Hawaii get to experience aloha on a daily basis. It is a way of life.

What exactly is the aloha spirit? Glad you asked!! The aloha spirit is an attitude or a way of living your life which is in tune with others around you, nature, and all the living beings on this planet and beyond. It is experiencing life as a part of a whole, for example, when there is pain suffered by another, it is also your pain. When there is joy, it is also your joy. There is a respect for all that is living, including yourself. The earth, sky, water, air are here for us to look after and protect. This brings a balance and a love… aloha.

It seems that nature, and the beauty of nature (like how we have here in Hawaii) makes it easier to experience this aloha spirit. Nature’s beauty is incredible and energizing to the soul, drawing us into the present moment where we can experience awe, joy, and love.

Hawaiian Words and Phrases to Express Love

Aloha Au Ia ‘Oe — I love you
Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No — I give my love to you, you give your love to me
Aloha Nui Loa — All my love
E Kipa Mai — Come to me
E Ku’u Aloha — My love
Ke Aloha — Beloved
Kipona Aloha — Deep love
Ko Aloha Makamae E Ipo — Sweetheart you are so precious
Ma’ane’i No Ke Aloha — For love is here and now
Aloha `Oe — Farewell to you
Aloha Kakahiaka — Good morning
Aloha `Auinala — Good afternooon
Aloha Ahiahi — Good evening

Beautiful Maui Sunset

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