Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vaisu ta Moko

Tokelau is a tiny three island territory of New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean. All together, the three islands are less than 4 square miles. The 1,400 inhabitants came from Polynesians who arrived on the islands 1000 years ago. There are no ports, harbors, or airports on any of the islands. The only way to get to them is to anchor a boat offshore and row in on a raft.

With the smallest economy out of any country in the world, Tokelau relies on aid from New Zealand. Most goods have to be imported because of the small area of the islands. They cant very well be using all of their land for cattle or corn. (Not that any Polynesians traditionally eat corn or beef.) All the Tokeleuans have right to at least a little land. No foreigners can be given land, though. The people live in densely populated cities that have more of a rural environment. That sounds a little contradictory to me, but it's more rural in character. Each atoll has one village on it as well as one school.

Vaisu ta moko is a dish made of just plain coconut. According to my source, you sear/ roast each side until it begins to smell like toasting coconut. I didn't have any whole coconut, so I tried to sub coconut flakes that I blended and pound together. This is not advised. It didn't turn out so great. Anyway, putting my failure aside, I still learned something about the Tokelauan people. In the past, the men used to head out in the morning to gather coconuts and pandans. They came back to the women who cooked up their recent finds for breakfast. If you make it correctly, I hope that you enjoy this historic Tokelauan specialty. 

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Vaisu ta Moko
Cut the coconut into strips. Preheat a pan to medium high heat and cook both sides of the coconut until golden.

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