Thanks for your first answer about it Heidi!
I will ask Tahitians whom I know if they still know something about it.
Heidi Bohan wrote:Xisca,
Regarding fermented poi... my experience is that poi is sweet when first processed as we did, then slowly begins to ferment, which is still edible but less desired. I believe it just naturally begins to sour. I only had the one experience with it while in Hawaii however, I'm sure there is much more to learn about poi as with all traditional foods. I'm a big believer in fermented foods in the diet so i'm always looking for traditional sources. Here in the Northwest fermented fish oil was a primary fermented food.
So do I,
especially when it comes to starch, as I do not digest it.
I want fermentation to split the sugars.
You tell about the process of the sourness of a cooked product,
and I thought we should ferment RAW food.
How could you tell it was a safe fermentation?
...and not spoiled food...
Well, for dairies too.
Fermenting brakes lactose.
I live in a place of traditional raw goat-milk fresh cheese.
I have bought a fermented cheese, and I have put it in a stain-less steel box away from "bichos".
I eat what has become nearly liquid!
I hope to go on adding the fresh cheese now!
But I do not know how to do it safely without a box....
Because I have no traditional reference.
Drosophila, the vinegar fly is a big issue when it comes to fermented food....
What is the interest of fermenting fish oil? Doesn't it keep without fermenting?
Xisca - pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience...
Regarding fermented poi, I’ve only had a brief experience with it so I’m not an authority. However a quick online check confirms that Lactobacillus does play a role in the fermentation of poi, even after being cooked. I have a vague memory of reading about earthen pits being used to store poi for long periods. As I understand it poi sours to the point it is unpleasant to eat long before it would become toxic. Again, I’m not an authority on this, just some tidbits of what I remember.
Regarding fermented fish oils, the fermentation takes place as a process of extracting the oil from the fish, which had the added benefit of being extremely healthy. Here in the Pacific Northwest a species of smelt with a very high oil content (also called ‘candlefish’ because of its combustibility when dried) was harvested in large numbers, then kept near low heat in large containers (canoes, pits, wooden boxes) until the oil separated and floated to the surface where it was ladled off. This oil goes by several names, the most common being Oolichan, Ooligan, or Grease. It was widely traded, with some areas have names such as ‘The Grease Trail’ it was so important. I first encountered Oolichan oil at Haida traditional feasts where jars of it were brought down from Alaska and set on the feast tables where it is poured over the entire plate of food- meat, fish, seafood, potato, vegetables and berries, in the same way as melted butter. I incorporated this oil into our daily diet, as much as possible, as my first real effort towards the use of traditional foods for preventative health in our family. It has a very slightly ‘rotten fish’ smell, but a very butter-like, smooth flavor. I learned to separate my nose from my mouth!
The Romans were famous for Garum, which was also made in a similar manner from fish, I believe cod?, though apparently the fermentation took place over several months but to the same end. Garum with garlic was widely traded as a fish sauce, and highly sought after. I believe nearly every culture with association with fish incorporated fermented fish oils into their diet.
Heidi Bohan, Ethnobotanist, educator, author- People of Cascadia, Starflower Native Plant ID Cards; Skills based mentorship programs