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vendredi 21 octobre 2016

Pancake, Fries, Rissole

 “ ’Uru easy ” by Lola

Lola leaves her taro plantation and, as usual, she’s delighted to get back to her own recipes. Every dish turns out easy, she said. Even if cooking art needs a little attention and care. She knows it and deals with. Magic of the Polynesian way of life where time doesn't count.

Need it be said that the fare ahimā'a, the kitchen where she operates, is widely open to all winds. This lodgings under the awning of the main building is the focal point of the family home. It's provided with the typical Tahitian oven (ahimā'a), dug in the ground, also a gas stove and a huge stone sink, fed by a spring.

The fare ahimā'a, its oven, fire, and stove
For her 'uru day, she brings together the breadfruits that have already passed the night, head upside down to drain their white sap. For the 3 following recipes, she choose them on the breadfruit tree at different stages of ripening: the first pulpous eventually slightly overripe, the second firm and the third a little flabby.

'uru ripe
As you probably know, the flesh of this fruit, is a "miracle of nature according to the first nutritionists of the eighteenth century".  Crushed and turned into flour or kneaded and spread into dough, its flesh can enter making desserts and sweet or savory donuts. In the category of neutral or salty recipes, and its use as bread or vegetable, Lola books you: 'uru pancake (Patty or Galette), 'uru fries or chips, and 'uru rissole (or brown 'uru).

‘Uru Pancake or galette
With an unctuous fruit, overly ripe, flabby but not really sour as pōpoi, the old way of breadfruit preservation in Polynesia... Packed in banana leaf, braised in a hot stone oven, the result moves away completely. 'Uru pancake is a dry foodstuff.

However, just as primitive and rudimentary, the 'uru pancake recipe (galette de ‘uru) differs because it uses utensils that didn't exist in the old times of Polynesia: not having known the Iron Age, neither metal plate on wood fire, nor wok or skillet. It's akin to the culinary practices of cassava or millet pancakes in Africa.

...cut open the breadfruit and take its flesh
Tear off the cottony 'uru flesh out of its rind with a spoon. Crush it with a pestle. Wear it on fire without any fat. Heat it in the container without ceasing to mix it with a wooden spatula until the dough thus formed exudes all its liquid.

The pancake is ready when, remaining well compact, the dough is crispy on the edges and takes a golden hue. It can have the consistency of an unleavened bread.

As the millet patty
You can eat it hot or cold, as such as bread. On mode snack, spread above, for taste, stewed fruit, jam, pate, sausage or other topping.

'Uru fries or chips
Slice an 'uru, firm and juicy, peel it. Cut the breadfruit into thin slices at your convenience. Choose your oil and, when it boils, dip them into and let fry.

In a skillet, return them to be browned on both sides. If you're hurry, throw them directly into boiling oil in a fryer, like potatoes. Add salt if it suits you. Drain, serve hot!

Bask each face
If you want them more fluffy. Instead, start by cooking the 'uru into its skin in the oven. You can also pre-cook the slices or steam and drain well before immersing in oil. Question as to how long you plan in the kitchen!

 uru rissole
Take an 'uru real tender. Peel it. Mash the flesh pureed. In a bowl, add egg, salt, herbs, a hint of fat, and blend.

An 'uru very firm
Mix thoroughly and knead this dough, adding a bit of flour (from 'uru or wheat), if all seems too fluid. When the dough is consistent, make dumplings, then flatten them.

In a skillet, heat a little oil. Place your rissoles delicately. Let them be roasted well. Once a grilled slight odor escapes, return them. They should be nicely browned to be cooked. You can stuff your rissole with minced meat, all-white chicken, bacon or raw fish scraps or already cooked.

'uru‘s rissole
Drain on a banana leaf or paper towel to keep them warm. Serve them still-smoldering. With a fresh salad.

Inexpensive and appetizing meals
"Lola's Recipes" are suitable for small budgets. Those whose fare is provided with the tutelary breadfruit or near charming neighbors. The Polynesians share easily and your portal is adorned in the "times of plenty" by the fruit of their offerings.

Home-style cooking, it uses the food leftovers and can accommodate them ingeniously according to your wishes. Younger generations sulk a little the 'uru and tended to lunge onto imported crisps. But if the taste is almost similar, it keeps its originality. Dare variety with the fruit of the breadfruit tree!

Lola in charge in the kitchen!
Don't hesitate, so ... to reintroduce the breadfruit in your cooking, this gluten-free fruit-vegetable.  Because many food manufacturers have gone astray and, for taking advantages of intensive farming, more productive and more profitable, have perverted flours used in the ordinary bakery.

Back to natural. Don't despise native culture! And don't let rot on the tree a fruit so blessed by nature.

An article of Monak

Read also:
- A novel of the Polynesian writer, Célestine Hitiura Vaite: Breadfruit (http://www.abebooks.com/Breadfruit-Celestine-Hitiura-Vaite-Penguin-Canada/16622260301/bd )

Copyright Monak. Ask for the author’s agreement before any reproduction of the text or the images on Internet or traditional press.

mercredi 19 octobre 2016

"Sao" Generations

Saga of an Oceanian cracker

At random vessels sailing Pacific during the last third of the twentieth century, the “Sao”, a cracker, intended first for the long-haul fleets as "sea biscuit" for its conservation, approached the continent of the Oceanian Islands.

It has been gaining in popularity during the 1914-18 World War, entering the "Poilus"' package and the civilians' ordinary fare (traditional home) as "war biscuit". Since, it formed part of breakfasts, lunches and late-night snacks, typical of French Polynesia today. It's still widely consumed.

A pioneer baker's boy
The Sao generations, aren't a myth. Much of the population was brought up on Sao. Caledonians joke thus: "Two glued to butter, three exploded in bowl." Over 50 years, it has been regularly imported and a branch of Arnott's biscuits is located in Titioro valley at Tahiti.

But to whom do we owe that famous Australian cookie which replaced the evening dinner in poor families?

A William Arnott…
Scottish, William Arnott, a baker's apprentice, immigrated onto the southern Australian coast, at Maitland (New South Wales). He tried without much success, as a gold prospector, while developing his small bakery. It was carried away by a violent flood. Sao's fate could be stopped there, suddenly overwhelmed by the waves. But, it didn't count on its inventor's determination. Ruined, he moved to Newcastle in 1865, thanks to friends' loans.

Arnott's brand was born. William Arnott rebounds with his label "Arnott's". The little shop of "biscuit creations", was transformed into advanced factory! The firm, using steam engines, relocates to the economic capital, Sydney, securing its indisputable prosperity. For the record, thanks to his tenacity and the quality of his products, but also because of his undeniable integrity, William repaid until his last debts. And definitely he played a social role.

Flooding Maitland, in1893
Today, besides the aura of its philanthropic foundations, gender cracker is flourishing. It diversifies for toddlers. It also complements appetizers and cold starters. But this step brings about another era, one where nutritional habits mimic the American way, with its excess fat of store-bought sauces. In spite of the introduction of tomatoes and salad with local hydroponics, it increases the constant nibbling and the easy overnutrition.

The Sao in Tahiti and its islands...
Let's back to these Sao-generations, when the economy is out of whack and doesn't benefit from the effects of CEP, except for the increase of imports and the recession of staple crops (coffee, copra , various vegetables and uru flour)... When vanilla, taro and coconut doesn't yield a secure income for a family farm, nestled on a hillside, Sao is relatively cheap. It has spawned a new food attitude. Lola's Grandma had her "recipes", easy for all ages and all purses. Our raromata'i friend (native from Taha'a), swears by the cookbooks ever written by her grandmother.

Suitable for pupils who have few time to wake up, swallow a little quick lunch before joining the road to catch the truck (schoolbus): early in the morning, in a bowl of cold milk, sweetened as desired, crumble Sao and let it absorb the liquid. Take time to see the level of milk until it’s reduced. The content is like a cove whose icebergs overlap. Mix again. The more it's thick, the more it's nutritious. Enjoy with a teaspoon.

Sao milk
Later today, dry, Sao is an appetite suppressant when you put the pick or machete down. It can be spread with cold "punu pua'atoro" (corned beef). It can accompany a banana or another fruit. The salty-sweet contrast stirs the taste buds.

For children's snack, it's a reconstituting with mango compote or all kinds of tropical jams (pineapple, passion fruit, guava, tamarind, lime green, soursop, papaya...). Everything depends on the resources of your fa'a'apu (vegetable garden). The peanut butter is a luxury or overpriced. And if the harvest is consistent, honey is welcome. But it's scarce because of the pesticides that decimated the bees.

Sao coffee
In lean times, the Sao dipped in sugar water is a substitute for any meal worthy of the name. Eaten cold, it thickens these sorts of fresh soups at the end of hot days. Somehow, the equivalent of the traditional Berrichon mijo. Economic, fast and nutritious. The peasants of yesteryear, in all latitudes, possessed great secrets!

In the evening, after sunset, in hot coffee, it gives a boost to workers who grab some hearty breakfast the next day, as usual.

Little update…
The real Sao-generations count about over three decades. At a time when the food fashion involved a certain austerity. Sao was a kind of exclusive. No frills. Of course, it put on hold the traditional lavish breakfast. The generation after takes advantage of opportunities and nutritional temptations, tinged with Asian cooking on the capital island, Tahiti. But it suffers from a nutrient imbalance and compensatory manias that result in a tendency to the overweight. This scourge affects many children!

So, what uncovers this rectangular cracker whose overall appearance is not uniform? The matt crust cookie has a mildly neutral taste. His weight lightness combines with its virtue of wholemeal bread. Crispy, crunchy, it's a feast for the teeth. Suddenly silent if it's well moistened. Practical, it slips easily into a bag or schoolbag. And in Sao-generation's memory, it acts as emotional delicacy, linked to childhood.

A feast of fingertips...!
A page of history is turned. The Sao episode enters a new cycle. Such as rice, inducted from the Asiatic cohabitation, it's a part of everyday life. Contrary to what might be expected of a food ingredient, it's becoming commonplace with the utmost discretion.

An article of Monak

Copyright Monak. Ask the author’s agreement before any reproduction of the text or the images on Internet or traditional press.