07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Friday, March 13, 2015

Food: Bamboo, Bats & Innards?

  by Diana McCollum-Author   

     I spent around three years on the island of Guam. I finished up high school at Tumon High, which was renamed J.F. Kennedy High, after President Kennedy’s assassination. Our high school was not on a military base. I went to school with not only kids from Guam, but kids from all over Micronesia.

Photo by Tagstock Japan This is a picture of Tumon beach. When I lived on Guam there weren't any hotels on Tumon beach. This was a favorite hangout for families and high school kids. Now it is the Honey moon capital for Japan. 
     I was accepted by the students because I lived, and went to school in their community. Weekends I’d go with my friends to fiestas. Every town had a patron saint. The fiestas were to honor and celebrate their saint. We would wander from house to house and enjoy the culinary delights offered in the front yards, under market tents, listen to music and have a good time. Barbeques and fire pits would send waves of smoke into the air along with the mouthwatering smells of roasting pig, fowl and barbeque beef.
     Some of the main cooking ingredients were: Bamboo, coconut, breadfruit (not to be confused with fruit bats, also a staple), plantains, yams, native eggplant and papaya.
     The most unusual food I tried was a small 2 to 3 inch dried fish. I think it was called “Eee, eee”. The whole fish is salted and dried and you pop the whole thing in your mouth to eat, that’s right, eye balls and all. Very salty, but good.
     Red rice is another staple. The rice gets it’s coloring from the achote seed which was introduce by the Spaniards to the Chamorro people hundreds of years ago.
Picture by  Paul Kennedy
     A not so favorite of mine is Fritada made with pig, cow, chicken or deer. Ingredients include: onion, salt & pepper, blood, garlic, small and large intestine, heart, liver and pancreas. Nothing wasted!
     Fanihe-better known as fruit bat only takes a pot to boil it in, half an onion, and one cup of coconut milk.
     My favorite? Kelaguin Uhang (shrimp coconut salad.) I’ll share the recipe with you in a moment.
     I left Guam for the final time to get married and live in Michigan. My first Christmas as a married woman, I told my Mom I wanted a cookbook with recipes of Guamanian food. Hence, I still have these recipes.

Favorite food: Kelaguin Uhang (Shrimp coconut salad)
1 ½ cups small shrimp cooked
1 medium coconut (I use a bag of coconut)
1 lemon
1 small onion
1 sweet green pepper
1 red hot pepper or ¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce
Broil green pepper over an open fire (or in oven J) Peel, take out seeds. Chop pepper and onions and put them together in a bowl with red hot pepper or Tabasco sauce. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon and mash up the mixture. Put in the shrimp and the grated coconut.  Mix all ingredients and season to taste-with more salt, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce.

What was your favorite food in high school? What was the strangest food you have ever eaten?


Karen Duvall said...

Growing up in Hawaii, I've eaten some odd but delicious foods. I used to eat poi for breakfast like cereal with milk and sugar. Lomi lomi salmon was my favorite savory dish and it consisted of chopped raw sea salmon, tomatoes and green onions. So good! Also there was ahi poke, which was basically a raw tuna salad that had seaweed in it. Yum! Raw opi'i plucked right off the reef is a shellfish that reminds me of scallops. Those are good, too. Now I'm hungry! :)

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks for stopping by, Karen. I have to say I didn't care for Poi when I visited Hawaii, but with sugar and milk? I think I'd like that. I have tried Lomi lomi and it reminded me of cheviche. Loved it!

Z. Minor said...

My mouth is watering for your shrimp recipe. Sounds delicious.
Sounds like a fun place to be a teenage. Thanks for sharing.

Diana McCollum said...

Hi Diana,
Really liked the latest blog post. I tried to post a comment, but it won’t let me. I joined your group, but it doesn’t seem to work. Here is what I was trying to post:

I grew up in Hawaii too. I ditto everything Karen said above! We would eat all of those items at church nearly every Sunday after the kahuhipa gave his sermon. My favorite desert was haupia (coconut pudding.) My favorite candy was (is) Li Hing Mui. It is a Chinese red plum pickled in a licorice, salt and sugar brine then finally dried. Mmm...my mouth is starting to water. My mom gave me a book of Hawaiian recipes when I went off to college on the mainland!


Diana McCollum said...

Kristin, Sorry you had trouble posting. I copied and posted your comment. Hawaii must have been an awesome place to grow up. Living in Guam and going to college in California I had many 12 and 24 hr lay overs. I'd stash my baggage at the airport after I changed into swim suit and shorts, catch the bus to the beach and hang out. Best fun ever!

Judith Ashley said...

My favorite food was pie! Chocolate cream pie in particular but I loved cherry, apple, lemon meringue, etc. Still do prefer pie over cake - but then there is ice cream - mmmmm

In college my roommates were from Hawaii and so were many of my friends. When they got care packages from home, they'd give me something without telling me what it was. I did not like octopus or eel but just about everything else was good - until they told me what the ingredients were - lol. However, some dishes were sooo good I didn't care what the ingredients were.

A take away from that experience is I am more likely to try something I've never had - or take a taste of it.

Pippa Jay said...

That sounds like an awesome childhood! The shrimp sounds yummy - I love seafood and coconut. Thanks for sharing!

Pippa Jay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Diana McCollum said...

Thanks for stopping by Pippa!