Slow Press – December 19, 2022 [updated with photos]

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Slow Food Oahu Membership Meeting Sunday, January 29, 2023

We will hold our annual meeting at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden at the sheltered picnic area on the mauka side of the road in the Africa section (K. Nui, which is near the end of the road). There will be ample tables for our usual ono potluck and lots of parking. Jason Chow, a local butcher and former Terra Madre delegate (2018) will give a talk on his upcoming project. Jason and his wife, Hardy, are creating a brick-and-mortar butcher shop and bakery next year. They will highlight local ingredients and fresh local meats. There may be other speakers as well, details will be forthcoming in the new year. Jason will speak at 10 am, followed by potluck brunch at 11 am. Save the date!

Join Ono & Pono in 2023

We are working to reinvigorate our local chapter this new year and could use some help! Our working board needs new energy, new ideas, and new members. We’re looking for folks with enthusiasm and interest in creating and organizing events. Other areas of need are social media outreach and a board member who can serve as treasurer. If you are passionate about Slow Food and have time to work with us, please send a note of interest to Nina Bermudez, our long-time, committed board member. Her email is

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Wild Pig Butchery Workshop

Wild pigs in Hawaiʻi are nonnative, invasive species in Hawaiʻi, yet they happen to be wildly delicious. Doug Young, famed local artist and frequent pig hunter is offering to teach an introductory wild pig butchery workshop with his daughter, Jhana Young. This is technically called “field dressing” and is what hunters do upon harvest.

We are creating a list of folks who are interested and who could be available to come to a private residence in Maunawili on short notice. Once the pig is caught (i.e., a snare or trap), we will send out an email and text message informing everyone and will host a workshop for the first eight individuals on a first come first served basis.

The 2-hour workshop will include a demonstration of wild pig butchery and go over best practices for preparing and cooking wild pigs. The workshop will be $75 and will include a portion of meat for each participant to take home. We will set the minimum of participants at two and the maximum at eight.

If interested, please email Jhana Young at with your name and phone number (for texting). We anticipate that the first class will be held sometime in January 2023 and may take place any day of the week. We appreciate your flexibility in advance!

Hawaii Chapter Highlight

By Laurie Carlson, Slow Food O’ahu

This past November, The Banana Source, Hawai’i SEED, Slow Food in Hawai’i, and Waimea Valley hosted the inaugural Mai’a Ho’olaule’a / Banana Festival on the North Shore of Oahu. Over 1,600 people came to eat, design with and learn how best to grow bananas. Ka Mai‘a ‘Ho‘olaule‘a was attended by residents from all over Oahu, as well as visitors who happened upon it during their Waimea visit.

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Ka Mai‘a ‘Ho’olaule‘a opened up a world of banana flavors and colors. It expanded notions of what a banana is and can be. Numerous activities and events were created to help our community grow and use bananas in new ways.

Fairgoers enthusiastically sampled more than ten varieties of raw bananas at our 18-foot-long monkeypod table. Two of these were “canoe” bananas brought to Hawai’i by Polynesian voyagers centuries ago. One type, the orange-fleshed Iholena banana, was one of the few kinds of bananas that women and children were allowed to eat in old Hawaii. Iholena gets its color from pro-beta carotene, which also gives a unique orange color to carrots.

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Several chefs shared their takes on the use of bananas in the culinary realm including the Filipino dish banana flower adobo, bananas foster, curried bananas, Puerto Rican pasteles and traditional Hawaiian piele (bananas with coconut milk). Recipe booklets of savory mai’a dishes were distributed so attendees could continue their culinary adventures at home.

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Gabe Sachter-Smith, the owner of The Banana Source, gave a speech and slideshow on banana culinary lore, botanical history, and best growing practices. Ken Love, Executive Director of Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, followed this up with his speech on preservation techniques and backyard fruit growing.

A hands-on booth supplied t-shirts, tote bags, and an array of banana plant parts, dyes, and inks. Fabulous patterns from stems, stalks, and flowers were created by delighted festival participants big and small.

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lauhala (pandanus) weaving demonstration was presented by Mahina Pukahi of Waianae. Traditionally, black banana fibers were used in combination with lauhala to create definition and contrast.

Festival t-shirts nearly sold out, being a popular hit with attendees. We also sold numerous copies of the ultimate guide to all things banana:

The World of Bananas in Hawai’i Then and Now by Angela Kepler. This book educates people about ai’a history, best gardening practices, pests, identification, and how to prepare, cook and eat bananas. The few copies available sold out quickly.

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The Banana Source booth had an impressive display of flowering bananas, including the lovely and unique Golden Lotus banana from Yunnan, China. Home growers could buy banana keiki including apple bananas, saba, nam wah, silk, pisang lilin, ice cream, largo, iholena, plantains, and gros michel. Over 280 plants were sold during the festival, supporting our efforts to improve Mai’a biodiversity by getting a wider selection of bananas into Hawaii’s gardens, kitchens, farms, and backyards.

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