The infant was stillborn and out of the spot he was buried, the first kalo plant grew.

Hawaiians did not stick to any particular variety to make poi.

It is said that for more than a century prior to the advent of foreigners to the islands, the Hawaiians had been growing about 200 different varieties of wet-land and dry-land taro.

But Preston's positive public poi proclamation is a raritymost unenlightened people scrunch their noses when poi becomes the topic of conversation.

Locals who grew up with the stuff and love it, like myself, learn to defend poi with a passion, taking it personally when someone unjustly criticizes it.

Several kinds of taro had such special flavor and color that they were reserved only for the chiefs.

The poi made from pink taro was served only to the alii while the rank and file made do with the coarse, bluish poi made from white taro.It seems as if it is seen as the Rodney Dangerfield of the food world, getting virtually no respect.But the long history of poi confirms that this Hawaiian staff of life actually has a spotless reputation and should more aptly be described as the Mother Teresa of foodstuffs. Whatever you call it, this perennial herb that we use to make poi is one of the oldest cultivated crops.Regardless of the variety of the taro, ancient Hawaiians used the same process to make poi.They baked or steamed the taro corm, or tuber, in underground ovens.However, the cultivation of the rarer varieties decreased over the years.