So at work, we do what we can to perpetuate traditional Hawaiian practices and perspectives. One of our many foci is traditional farming with traditional staple crops. It is quite well known how many unique varieties of Kalo (Colocasia esculenta) were developed here in Hawaii. We care for roughly 28 different native types, for instance.
It’s worth noting that bananas (Musa spp.) were also farmed in old Hawaii. There are dozens of different strains that Hawaiians created over successive generations. This variety, Hua Moa, actually has a rather interesting modern story. It was taken to south Florida in the ’60s where it has become established in the local community. Most Hawaiian bananas are cooking bananas, so Hua Moa fit in quite nicely with all the plantains used in Latin American cuisine.
Hua Moa translates to chicken egg. As you can see from the picture, the large, squat bananas resemble their namesake more than they do other more familiar-shaped bananas. I can’t wait to try one! There’s a plantain dumpling stew that I remember from my time in Ecuador that looks like the winning recipe!