Foods of Micronesia

Venister and AB led off with a description of Kosraean usr boil kaki - boiled banana topped with coconut milk.

Usr boil kaki

Pohnpeian uht idihd: ground banana baked in an uhm

Kosraean ainpat usr: cooked smashed bananas with coconut milk

Arlynn describing ainpat usr

Pohnpeian uhter: taro and coconut balls

Pohnpeian mahi lihli. 

Pohnpeian mahi lihli. Breadfruit baked in an uhm and then pounded. The resulting dish is wonderfully creamy. The breadfruit is ripe when baked, which contributes to the smoothness. The dish also has the wonderfully smoky flavor of the uhm. This is a personal favorite of mine.

Epilette explained that mahi lihli can only be prepared by those who have completed nopwei mahi to their nahnmwarki. Because of this, there is a season for lihli.

Pohnpeian uht mwahngas

Justin Lemuel brought in the special treat of Mwoakillese pilolo. Ground banana is mixed with coconut milk and molasses made from the sap of the coconut palm. The same sap that is used to make tuba (skalui) is cooked down into molasses. This gives Mwoakillese pilolo its distinctive color. Pohnpeian pilolo is made with sugar and ranges from blue to purple to violet-red in color.

After years of facilitating ethnobotany I am not often surprised, but this was a surprise. Mwoakillese baked inahsio banana. The banana is baked with a topping of coconut milk and a sprinkle of sugar. Only inahsio is said to work for this dish. The dish is called kornida in Mwoakillese.

Kimberly sand Enyd hared kornida with the class.

Pohnpeian uht pirain

Adelma shared the story of uht pirain. Two grandsons saw a mehnwai child eating chips, perhaps potato chips. They wanted chips, but the mehnwai child would not share. Their grandfather, seeing that his grandsons were distraught, decided to see if he could craft a chip. He went up to his farm and returned with uten ruhk. Shaving the uten ruhk thin, he then deep fried the banana slices, most fortuitously producing a chip that made his grandsons happy.


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