Taste the World - American Samoa - Luau/Palusami

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*Official name: Territory of American Samoa *Motto: 'Samoa, Let God Be First' *Capital: Fagatogo *Official Languages: English, Samoan *Other Languages: Tongan *Religion: Christian *Government: Territorial Presidential Constitutional Republic (Under the United States of America) *Area: 76.83 sq mi  *Population: (2015 estimate) 54,343 *Currency: United States Dollar (USD) *Time Zone: Samoa Standard Time (SST) *Drives on the: right  *International code: AS (data from Wikipedia)

It was a bit difficult to find a recipe for American Samoa, separate from Samoa. I found this recipe for their National Dish, Luau/Palusami. I've made a few alterations to the recipe, so it's not strictly speaking traditional, but its very close.  I had to pick up the taro leaves at a specialty Polynesian market. This recipe would make an excellent side dish for a luau style party, perhaps with pulled pork.

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NATIONAL DISH OF AMERICAN SAMOA

LUAU/PALUSAMI

Infredients: 

1 coconuts
1/4 onion
4 taro leaves
salt

Method:

1. PREPARING THE CREAM:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Open coconut, pour out coconut water. Scrape fresh coconut onto a baking tin. 
Bake in oven until brown.

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2. Small dice coconut, and add 1/2 cup of warm water in a blender. Add diced onion and salt to taste. Blend into a purée. 

3. PREPARING THE LUAU/PALUSAMI: Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees. Get taro leaves. Use 1 big leaf and 3 or 4 smaller leaves. You can break a bigger leaf to make a smaller leaf. Lay the 4 pieces flat with the big one on the bottom and the 3 smaller ones on top.

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4. Place leaves in a small bowl lining the bowl, making a cup shape to pour the cream into. Pour the coconut cream inside the leaf structure and close outside edges of the leaves to enclose the cream, making the leaves like a ball-like structure.

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5. Wrap total package in aluminum foil, twisting the top to conceal and hold the package tight. Put in oven and cook for about an hour at 475 degrees F. 

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