On a replica Polynesian voyaging canoe, there is no oven or refrigerator. Many foods are perishable, and meals must be easy to prepare at sea. ʻAi ka mea loaʻa, you eat what is served, there rarely is a time that you can pick and choose what you want and when you want to eat it. Uʻi Malakaua likes to say that the crew sometimes does not get to eat in order to take care of kuleana that needs to get done or because the environment is stormy.
Fishing is a respite from the mundane non-perishable food. Fresh produce and anything that might spoil quickly will be eaten first. There are tricks that students enjoy hearing: I learned that fresh farm eggs can last for about a month if you immerse them in olive oil, and can determine if a raw egg is still good to eat by placing it in water.
Lesson Idea - Egg Experiment
How can the cook on the waʻa tell if the egg is good or bad? If the egg sinks, it’s good. If the egg floats, it’s not good. If the egg sinks but it is tilted at an angle, it’s a good idea to hard boil the eggs and eat it soon. The same idea works if you use kukui nuts too.
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