Pronunciation: [POY; POH-ee]
This native Hawaiian dish is definitely an acquired taste. It's made from cooked taro root that is pounded to a smooth paste, then mixed with water, the amount depending on how the poi is to be served. Since poi is eaten with the fingers, its consistency is measured accordingly and ranges from "one-finger" (the thickest) to "three-finger" (the thinnest). Poi is generally fermented for several days, which gives it a sour, acidic taste. It can be eaten by itself, mixed with milk to make a porridge or served as a condiment for meat and fish. Poi is available in cans in Hawaii and in some specialty stores on the mainland.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.