The traditional Hawaiian diet was based on complex carbohydrates, vegetables form the land and sea, and used animal protein as a garnish. Fruit was eaten in season, with some being dried for later use, though this was not particularly common.
Carbohydrates were primarily provided by ʻulu, uala, uhi, maiʻa, and kalo. During famine times, the starchy core of the hāpuʻu and other tree ferns could be baked and eaten. Pia also provided starch for cooking and, like hāpuʻu starch, for finishing kapa (tapa / bark cloth).
Sweet treats came from fruits such as the ʻōhiʻa-ʻai, halaʻai, and lama, as well as kō.
High-quality fats came from the niu.
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