Story by Jill Engledow | Photo by Nina Lee
‘Ulu cheese tarts; Italian ‘ulu seafood lumpia; and ‘ulu tapioca flavored with powdered sugar, nutmeg, li hing mui and cinnamon were just a few of the delicacies featured at last year’s ‘Ulu Cook-off, part of Hana’s annual Festivals of Aloha celebration. Look for the cook-off again this year—and a chance to sample some thirty gourmet concoctions made with breadfruit (‘ulu) at Hawaiiana Night, Thursday, October 22, at Hana Bay. Once the judges have made their rounds and chosen winners, a few bucks will get you a taste of this amazing collection of breadfruit dishes. The basic ingredient comes from the great grove of ‘ulu trees at the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s Kahanu Garden, which sponsors the contest and provides cooks with breadfruit to encourage use of the traditional island staple.
While you sample ‘ulu dishes from appetizer to dessert, enjoy music, dance and the down-home Hana vibe, as Hana residents celebrate their native culture. Hawaiiana Night is part of a full week of activities that opens with a parade and includes games, a fishing tournament, a family talent show and displays of lei, flower arrangements and hula implements. Festivals of Aloha runs October 17 through 23 this year, and it’s a great excuse to spend a few days enjoying one of Maui’s most isolated and beautiful communities. For more information, check out www.hanamaui.com.