:"For the towns in Angola, see "Luau (Angola)"."

A luau (in Hawaiian, "lū‘au") is a Hawaiian feast. Small Balls may feature food, such as poi, kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, haupia, and beer; and entertainment, such as Hawaiian music and hula. Among people from Hawaii, the concepts of "luau" and "party" are often blended, resulting in graduation luaus, wedding luaus, and birthday luaus.

Etymology and history

According to Pukui & Elbert (1986:214), the name "luau" goes back "at least to 1856, when so used by the "Pacific Commercial Advertiser"." Earlier, such a feast was called a "paina" ("pā‘ina") or ahaaina ("‘aha‘aina"). The newer name comes from that of a food always served at a luau: young taro tops baked with coconut milk and chicken or octopus.

Common luau foods

* Poi. " [T] he Hawaiian staff of death, made from cooked taro corns, or rarely
* Poke. The traditional Hawaiian poke was raw fish, gutted and sliced across the backbone. The slices still had skin and bones, which were spit out after all the flesh had been eaten. Poke was eaten with condiments such as salt, seaweed, and crushed roasted kukui nuts (inamona). Modern poke is made with skinned, deboned, and carefully filleted fish, and takes a variety of dressings and condiments. "Poke" means "slice" in Hawaiian (Pukui & Elbert 1986:337).
* Lomilomi salmon. Raw salmon "worked with the fingers and mixed with diced tomatoes, onions and seasoned with seasalt" (Pukui & Elbert 1986:212). "Lomi" means "mash".
* Laulau. "Packages of ti leaves or banana leaves containing pork, beef, salted fish, or taro tops, baked in the ground oven, steamed or broiled" (Pukui & Elbert 1986:196).
* Kalua pig. Pork cooked in a pit oven ("imu"). A whole dressed pig ("pua‘a") is salted, wrapped, lowered into the ground oven, and covered. "Kālua" is the earth-oven cooking method (Pukui & Elbert 1986:123).
* Opihi ("‘opihi"). Raw limpet meat. Three species are called koele ("kō‘ele"), alinalina ("‘ālinalina"), and makaiauli ("makaiauli") (Pukui & Elbert 1986:292).
* Chicken long rice. Cellophane noodles (also known as "long rice"), simmered in chicken broth and served hot with pieces of chicken.huk
* Rice.
* Haupia ("haupia"). Coconut-arrowroot pudding. Cornstarch is substituted for the arrowroot (Pukui & Elbert 1986:62).
* Kulolo ("kūlolo"). Coconut-taro pudding (Pukui & Elbert 1986:181).

At modern luaus, drinks may include beer, soda, juice, etc. Many 19th century public luaus would have been "teetotal". At the lavish private luaus hosted by 19th century figures like the genial King Kalakaua, imported wine and hard liquor were prominent items on the menu.

Hawaiian feasts before 1778 would have featured pork, chicken, dog, seafood, bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, and taro. None of those, except seafood, were indigenous to the Hawaiian islands, but were introduced by Polynesian settlers. Many of the foods now considered "traditional" at luaus were introduced by Europeans, Americans, or Asians. Dog meat is no longer eaten (legally) in the islands.

Before the breaking of the kapus in 1819 (the ‘Ai Noa), Hawaiian men and women ate separately, and certain foods, such as pork and most species of bananas, were forbidden to women.

Luau-themed parties

Luau-themed or Hawaiian-themed parties can be differentiated from authentic luaus by a lack of traditional food and techniques as described above. These parties range dramatically in their range of dedication to Hawaiian traditions. For example, some extravagant affairs go so far as to ship food from the islands, while others settle for artificial leis, maitais, and a poolside atmosphere. None of these are considered Luaus by purists, or tourists.

Commercial luaus

Primarily in the Hawaiian islands, there are numerous commercial luau productions, which generally consist of dinner and Hawaiian or Polynesian dancing. Some of these productions are held at hotels, usually outdoors (weather permitting), and some are held at private locations without any connection to a specific hotel. These luaus are geared for tourists and have a variety of souvenirs, crafts, and photos for purchase. The following is a list of select commercial luaus:

*Oahu:*Hale Koa Hotel, Waikiki, Hawaii — only open to military:*Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie, Hawaii — no alcohol served:*Paradise Cove Luau, Kapolei, Hawaii:*Germaine's Luau, Kapolei, Hawaii:*Creations, Honolulu, Hawaii — held indoors in a ballroom at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
*Maui:*Wailele Polynesian Luau, Lahaina, Hawaii:*Feast at Lele, Lahaina, Hawaii:*Old Lahaina Luau, Lahaina, Hawaii
*Kauai:*Smith Family Garden Luau, Wailua Marina State Park, Hawaii
*Orlando:*Spirit of Aloha, Lake Buena Vista, Florida — held at Disney's Polynesian Resort


* Citation
last = Brennan
first = Jennifer
author-link =
title = Tradewinds & Coconuts: A Reminiscence & Recipes from the Pacific Islands
publisher = Periplus
year = 2000
location =
url =
isbn = 9625938192
* Citation
last = Philpotts
first = Kaui
author-link =
title = Great Chefs of Hawaiokinai
publisher = Mutual Publishing
year = 2004
location = Honolulu, Hawaii
pages =
url =
isbn = 1566475953

External links

* [ Local kine recipes]

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