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5 Things You Can Do With Poi in Hawaii

Poi – a life sustaining source of edible goodness?

Or, a grey blob with the texture of spooning wallpaper paste into your puckered mouth?

Like it or loathe it, there is no denying that poi is as Hawaiian as the Duke himself. Coming from an island where magma boils into the sea, surfers tame waves that could swallow the world in one and sunflowers burst and bloom – it’s no wonder that poi takes on a magical quality.

But, is it dark magic or light?

Anyone who knows anything about poi will know that it’s another name for mashed down taro root. Taro – the hairy bulbous brother of the humble potato. The best thing about the taro root is that it is PURPLE! Yes, purple.  How many purple foods are there in existence? It’s like something a stoned surfer would come up with.

In an effort to spread the word about this wonderful grub, we have five suggestions as to what you can do with Poi and that doesn’t involve feeding it to your dog.

Let’s face it – your dog would probably sniff suspiciously before rolling over and playing dead anyway. If only we could get away with that at the dinner table…

Worship its Life Giving Force


Take a moment to light some incense, invoke your inner shaman and embrace the beautiful spirit of poi.

Those ancient Hawaiians were some highly spiritual cats (yeah we used that term just like its circa 1969 in Haight Ashbury). So, when locals say that poi is a food of the gods – they actually mean it.

When Captain Cook arrived on the island, back in the day, he was flabbergasted to see these healthy humans flourishing in the sun. We put it down solely to the taste of tantalizing poi. Why is poi great? Well, poi is one of those probiotic treats that is bursting with healthy enzymes and alkaline forming elements.

Not only will it sort out any gastrointestinal issues, but it will also fight off diseases, like IBS, and encourage your entire system to heal.

We aren’t suggesting that you drop down on your knees and start to hail the god of poi, but maybe just adding a dreamy lavender colored dollop to your pork or poke is the best way to go.

Want to know more about the wonderful mystic powers of poi? Check it out…

Eat it with your Fingers

Who doesn’t love food that you can eat with your fingers?

There seems to be something that taps into our wild and free side, when we can put the cutlery down and revel in getting messy.

Finger foods are fun! They are especially fun when they are the consistency of poi.

The poi experts out there will actually judge how good a plate of poi is based on how many fingers it takes to scoop the purple goo to your lips. We aren’t sure if one finger poi beats three finger poi, but we like the sound of it.

Food Network is full of ideas on how to make Hawaiian poi and can help you perfect your poi consistency…

Serve it at a Luau

Poi health benefits

Luau’s are the perfect remedy, when you want to serve up highly spiked punch, feast on pig and fall face first into the dirt as you try to do the limbo.

No one likes to party more than poi, when it comes to a luau. They go together like Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (swoon). Let’s face it – your party won’t be complete unless you have a gooey plate of poi fancying up your table.

Your guests will gravitate towards poi, as though in a trance.  They will dollop it on their kalua pig wraps, they will drip their chips into it, they will throw it down on their aku poke, slop it on top of their hamburgers and even sprinkle a bunch of sugar on top and spoon it from the bowl.

Yep, when it comes to poi – your party options are endless.

Just watch people trying to hula successfully after downing several kilos of pure purple poi – it’s what dreams are made off.

Here’s some ideas to get your poi party started…whoop, whoop

Feed it to your Baby

Disclaimer – this suggestion is not child cruelty.  Trust us, your baby will adore poi. Also let’s remember that there are a gazillion benefits to eating poi.

Poi has been hailed as the perfect baby food. Think about it – babies love pureed food, because they haven’t got the chomper’s to break down anything else. Poi is also super easy to digest, which means that you won’t have to deal with a wailing small bald child with a stomach ache.

Finally – drum roll please – its hypoallergenic aaaaaaand it’s a probiotic. In short, it has everything you ever dreamed of, when it comes to a food to spoon into your baby’s mouth.

It also looks like baby food- a pile of purple sludge that takes no chewing whatsoever. Baby’s should be falling over themselves to get a bite of beautiful poi. Poi is also a three letter word.  So, if your bae digs it, then it may just be the first sound out of their mouth.

Honestly, we aren’t joking…

Chow It Down to Cure a Hangover

What you can do with poi, health benefits of poi

Pretty much everyone knows what it’s like to wake in the morning with the feeling that someone has thrown an axe through your forehead. Perhaps it was too many bright blue cocktails the night before, but the details are hazy.

Whatever happened, it almost certainly feels like someone force fed you a pile of trash, before getting the whole cast of High School Musical to river dance on your squishy brain.  This is a great option before getting out on a dinner cruise and eating even more poi.  

It’s times like this when you may find yourself reaching for the paracetamol, but should really be reaching for the poi.

Poi is a perfect hangover food that will bring you back from the brink of a long, slow painful death…or just a day under the duvet.  Let’s not get too dramatic.

Poi delivers a high dose of energy.  It is brimming with iron and magnesium and smattered with a healthy and hearty dose of vitamins and minerals. Ok sure, the texture may make you balk a little, especially mid hangover.  But, trust us – a spoonful of medicine is enough to get you back on your feet, thanks to the awesome health benefits of poi.

Need to double check you have a hangover – in case you are knee deep in a world of denial…

All hail the mighty poi!



  • Elizabeth L

    Aloha! I’m Elizabeth L. At LiveYourAloha, I am responsible for writing about sightseeing tours and Hawaiian culture. For the last 12 years, I’ve been working as a tour guide in Hawaii. It’s been a great way to see the world and learn about new cultures. I love nature and the outdoors, and have even climbed two of the world’s highest peaks! Making connections and showing my visitors the incredible beauty of these beautiful islands is a passion of mine. When I’m not out giving tours, you’ll likely find me on an invigorating hike or enjoying local cuisine on the beach.