Monday Meal Review: Samoa

We are one family

There's a Samoan proverb which reads "Ua iloa i vaʻa lelea," or we are one family.  I love this proverb. I spent most of my topsy turvy childhood figuring out what love means. What family means. And then, one day, those grace-filled words dawned on me ... We are one family. The Samoans knew it all along. Blood bonds and geographic bonds are just the wonderful beginning. We can find love whenever and wherever we open our hearts. We are all one family. Sometimes it's a bit messy. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Samoan Steamed Spice Cake | Puligi

Puligi

When Samoans want to bite into the holidays, their kitchens fill with the warm scent of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. If you try to peer under the lid to see what's cookin', you'll more than likely get a full steam facial, so watch out. Within that foggy cloud of vapors, you'll find cocoa brown puligi, a steamed bundt cake made dark with the unusual addition of "burnt" sugar. The cake is traditionally steamed in an underground oven known as an imu, although many now steam it on the stovetop, or … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chocolate & Coconut Rice Pudding with Sweet Orange Peel | Koko Rice

koko-rice

I used to say I wasn't a chocolate girl but, as the year's go by, I'm realizing that it's really more about finding the right time to eat chocolate. After dinner? Certainly. At 3pm? I'm game. For lunch? Maybe. Midnight? Definitely. 3 am? No way. I'm sleeping for goodness sakes. But breakfast? Am I game for a chocolate breakfast? Let's just say it's an arrangement I'm willing to get out of bed for and I know of at least two other people who are as well. After all, who couldn't use … [Read more...]

Recipe: Samoan Coconut Creamed “Spinach” | Palusami

Palusami

Oh, boy. I honestly never thought this would happen. Me. Canned meat. Together at the table. At the Global Table. When I decided to cook a meal for every country in the world, I had visions of exotic spices laced throughout grand feasts of epic proportions. I imagined a variety of fresh herbs, carefully plucked from a garden somewhere. Canned corned beef, never really popped up in these daydreams. But, when Soraya the Samoan suggested I try Palusami, I quickly learned the time … [Read more...]

Menu: Samoa (Plus Giveaway)

samoan-menu

"E tuai tuai, ta te maʻona ai." This Samoan proverb states that food which takes a long time in the oven will be satisfying. It's the equivalent of "good things come to those who wait." You see, much of Samoan dinners were traditionally cooked in underground ovens made with hot stones and covered with dirt and leaves. My mom said that was just about all there was in the late 70's. Today, electricity takes much of the guesswork out of when dinner will be done but there's still satisfaction in … [Read more...]

About the food of samoa

Damien-with-natives3

Mom was the ultimate "drop everything and go" traveler at a time when not many people, let alone pregnant women, did that sort of thing. She was in Samoa in 1979 - just months before I was born. P.S. In case that wasn't tough enough for ya, she also had a (very energetic) toddler in tow - my brother Damien. Amaz. ing. I know, I know, I know. You're thinking things have changed since then - and to some extent they have (although much is still the same, like the fact that this tiny … [Read more...]