Don't let the name "rat's foot" throw you off. This limu (seaweed), and the fern ally by the same name have lots of flavor to offer to life. Wāwaeʻiole is the name used for a couple species of Hawaiian Codium, C. edule being the most common. This indigenous limu is found throughout the Pacific and can be eaten raw or cooked. It was often pounded with salt and left to sit, yielding a rich red sauce good for iʻa maka (raw fish) and other dishes. High in minerals, limu was (and still is) an important part of the Hawaiian diet, consumed daily by some folks. In fact, historically, Hawaiians consumed more limu than any other Pacific people. Women were often the ones to collect these delicate and delectable sea plants from near shore areas, each species having its own unique texture and flavor. Limu wāwaeʻiole is paired with ʻalaʻalawainui (Peperomia spp.) in the Kumulipo (our most extensive chant of creation). However, Lycopodium venustulum is an indigenous fern ally that also carries the name wāwaeʻiole. It is used in hana aloha, or love magic, i hōʻiole mau ke aloha i loko - so that love is always held fast within. Whether food or love, it seems wāwaeʻiole can get that ʻono (flavor) your puʻu is craving: E hōʻonoʻono mai - Make it tasty.
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