On Friday May 12th, we were joined by our community partners for our quarterly PAINA Coalition event. This time, the theme was a an amazing tree that goes by many names: malunggay, marungguy, kalamungay, moringa, and dozens of others all over the world.
Guests were invited to stamp their own malunggay greeting cards, share stories and personal experiences, and listen to some of our most knowledgeable kupuna share their ike. Additionally, partners were able to sample an array of malunggay dishes, some traditional and some innovative, to showcase its versatility:
Chicken Papaya Stew
with Local Green Papaya, Malunggay, and Kalihi-born, Pasture-raised Ludovico Farm Chicken
Oven-baked 'Ulu Malunggay Patties
with Sisou Farm 'Ulu, Ho'oulu 'Aina Herbs, and a Drizzle of Malunggay Aioli
North African-Style* Couscous with Malunggay
with Dried Apricots, Toasted Almonds, and Fresh Herbs
*to celebrate the North African origins of the tree
"To the Beet" Stack
with Friends with Farms Beets, Kolea Farm Purple Radish, and Malunggay-Goat Cheese Spread
Calamansi Malunggay Cupcakes
with Sisou Farm Calamansi, Buttercream Frosting, and a Dusting of Powdered Malunggay Cane Sugar
Calamansi Malunggay Coconut Sorbet
with Sisou Farm Calamansi
Ginger Malunggay Grapefruit Cooler
with Waianu Farms Ginger, Kolea Farm Grapefruit
With this menu, guests were able to enjoy the cultural and culinary dimensions of malunggay, while also getting a wallop of nutrition. Malunggay is densely nutritious, packed with vitamins C and A, calcium, protein, and potassium.
Many of our friends and neighbors showed us aloha by donating malunggay for the event, including Elsa Turla, Betty Kagesa, and Sheryl Yoshimura (whose mother harvested a huge bundle of malunggay in the dark the night before our event!). Special thanks go to these generous malunggay contributors, as well as to: our invited speakers Grace Caligtan, Sheryl Yoshimura, Christen Oliviera, and Merlita Compton; Ro Wang and Sheryl for providing a live demonstration of their garnished malunggay omelette; to Jordan Ragasa and KVIBE for brightening our space with a potted malunggay tree; Wahine Tong for photographing our event; to Sheryl, Betty, and Jack for arriving in Filipino attire to celebrate their heritage; and to the many community members who came to share their thoughts, experiences, and love.
At Roots, our abiding mission is to support communal health through strengthened connections. Our Food Hub helps us connect our community members to the healthy foods that are most meaningful to them; not only through better access to purchasing these foods, but also through connections to ancestral eating practices, family stories, horticultural knowledge, food preparation techniques, and to the people who hold all these pieces of knowledge. Collectively, we are experts in the practice of good health, and we're so thankful for all of our partners who make up this hui.