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    Post #1 - December 2nd, 2010, 6:55 pm
    Post #1 - December 2nd, 2010, 6:55 pm Post #1 - December 2nd, 2010, 6:55 pm
    In my recent visit to Hawaii (The Big Island) I searched out the opportunity to try Kava (or Awa), a traditional Hawaiian (and Polynesian and Micronesian) drink made from a local root that allegedly produces a feeling of relaxation and fights off depression. It acts as a mild sedative. Wikipedia has a detailed article on Kava and Kava culture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kava

    I like to believe that there is no food (or drink) that I can not come to like, but I must confess that Kava will take some time. Although I like bitter tastes, Kava has a taste that is both bitter, dirt-like, and medicine-like. It is hard to describe, and, interestingly enough, the wiki article does not describe the taste. I was supposed to drink the entire cup in one draught, but found that I could not. But I did feel more relaxed, although perhaps that was simply a function of no longer drinking kava! Still kava is part of Pacific culture, and various forms of kava are available on the internet.

    Image
    Kava - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii by garyalanfine, on Flickr

    I ordered my Kava from Kanaka Kava, which is run by a very friendly woman, Johanna Gibson (perhaps slightly counter-cultural) and her husband Zachary. The kava was kept in a large stone bowl, poured into a coconut shell cup. In addition, they serve traditional Hawaiian food such as Poke (raw fish), Squid Luau (described as steamed taro leaves and octopus with coconut milk - I'm not sure about whether it is squid or octopus), poi, taro, breadfruit, and opihi (a type of mollusk). They also serve Kavalada (a Kava smoothie) and, oddly, a kava chocolate bar. For $35 you can buy a gallon of kava to go, which is a commitment to relaxation that I am not yet ready to make.

    Kanaka Kava
    Coconut Grove Marketplace
    75-5803 Alii Drive, Space B6
    Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
    866-327-1660
    Http://www.KanakaKava.com
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #2 - December 2nd, 2010, 9:14 pm
    Post #2 - December 2nd, 2010, 9:14 pm Post #2 - December 2nd, 2010, 9:14 pm
    GAF wrote:In my recent visit to Hawaii (The Big Island) I searched out the opportunity to try Kava (or Awa), a traditional Hawaiian (and Polynesian and Micronesian) drink made from a local root that allegedly produces a feeling of relaxation and fights off depression. It acts as a mild sedative. Wikipedia has a detailed article on Kava and Kava culture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kava

    I like to believe that there is no food (or drink) that I can not come to like, but I must confess that Kava will take some time. Although I like bitter tastes, Kava has a taste that is both bitter, dirt-like, and medicine-like. It is hard to describe, and, interestingly enough, the wiki article does not describe the taste. . .

    Gary, I'd like to see you be the person who contributes that content to Wikipedia.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #3 - December 2nd, 2010, 9:28 pm
    Post #3 - December 2nd, 2010, 9:28 pm Post #3 - December 2nd, 2010, 9:28 pm
    It might be best for a Kava drinker - of which there are many - to do the Wiki-honors.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #4 - December 3rd, 2010, 1:40 pm
    Post #4 - December 3rd, 2010, 1:40 pm Post #4 - December 3rd, 2010, 1:40 pm
    To me Kava tastes (and looks) like dirty dishwater. Not that I am in the habit of drinking dirty dishwater, but you know when you splash some in your mouth, by mistrake. Kava is the root of a pepper plant. The dried out stuff you can buy here does not have the potency of the fresh ground root. In Tonga there are many kava "bars" because the government limits the amount of alchohol and beer each citizen can buy each month.
  • Post #5 - December 3rd, 2010, 1:44 pm
    Post #5 - December 3rd, 2010, 1:44 pm Post #5 - December 3rd, 2010, 1:44 pm
    I have never actually drank dirty dishwater, but I'll take your word for it (it does sound plausible), and will be careful if you ever offer a drink. :lol:
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #6 - May 3rd, 2016, 2:34 pm
    Post #6 - May 3rd, 2016, 2:34 pm Post #6 - May 3rd, 2016, 2:34 pm
    A quiet street off Division near Noble Square with minimal signage is home to Chicago's first dedicated kava bar, Tropikava Kafe.

    http://chicago.eater.com/2016/5/3/11581 ... etly-opens
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #7 - May 4th, 2016, 12:57 pm
    Post #7 - May 4th, 2016, 12:57 pm Post #7 - May 4th, 2016, 12:57 pm
    Isn't kava the stuff that people make by chewing on the root and spitting the results into a big bowl, which is eventually passed around the assemblage when it gets full enough? I could swear I've read that in more than one "Adventures in the South Pacific"-type book.
    fine words butter no parsnips

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