For the second year in a row, the Puna Breadfruit Festival was celebrated this past Saturday, March 2nd at Ho'oulu Lāhui, the site of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School at Pū'āla'a, located next to the 'Ahalanui Hot Pond Park in lower Puna on Hawai'i Island.
This year's theme 'Ulu a me Niu celebrated the pairing of breadruit and coconut and all of the educational and recreational exhibits prominently featured both.
The school campus is divided in two large areas; the one makai held all of the food related events such as the Pacific Islanders 'ulu pounding, opening and selling of coconuts for both the water and the delicious pulp, some so tender you could scoop out with a spoon. Also on this side were the cooking demonstrations, cooking contest and the 'buffet kitchen' set up by Chef Casey Halpern of Cafe Pesto in Hilo who led a culinary team preparing and serving a delicious lunch composed of 'ulu croquettes, braised Big Island beef, 'ulu and cauliflower curry, 'ulu and heart of palm slaw with coconut mayo and a Big Island chocolate pudding dessert. The lines in front of the buffet booth were long and although they moved along briskly, they lasted for hours, attesting to the deliciousness of the food!
The rest of the culinary team who assisted in developing the menu were Chef Kanoa Miura of 'aloha Mondays' Catering, Chef Mark (Gooch) Noguchi of 'Pili Hawai'i' & 'Taste' in Oahu and Nat Bletter of 'Madre Chocolate'.
The mauka area campus which is just across the "Red Road" as the stretch of highway 138 is popularly called (due to the red cinders used in the paving of the road), holds the classrooms, green house, garden areas and a solar dehydrator housed in a bus, is where all of the lectures, educational events, keiki games, hula, music and entertainment were held.
There were lectures, workshops, cooking demonstrations, music and hula; cultural exhibits, games for the children, face painting, quilting and other crafts; Hawaiian drum making, 'ulu pounding, coconut frond weaving and much more including a cooking contest. All cooking contest entries were encouraged to combine both the breadfruit and coconut in their recipe entries.
This year's 1st Place Winner in the Appetizer category were delicious Shrimp and 'Ulu Cakes entered by Gwen Edwards from Kailua-Kona.
Kapa or tapa cloth - see below
Photo: Kapa or tapa cloth being made by pounding the peeled bark of the 'ulu tree.
You can find out more information
about the Kua O Ka La School, hosts of the Spring breadfruit festivals by
visiting their website www.kuaokala.org plus
all recipes from the previous breadfruit festival contests at Breadfruit.info in the Hawai'i HomeGrown
Food Network site.
The Breadfruit Festivals are a project of Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu. For more information, please visit www.breadfruit.info
More recipes will be shared in the next few days
To see previous posts regarding this festival click on the following link: