In Samoan the word loiloi means to dip . . . . .

Just came in from the plantation. About a thousand or so tiapula had been planted this Monday so it is a good day. A productive day to feel good about. The chore started at 5am in the morning. The lafo was done on Saturday so the ma’umaga was ready for the planting. Some ten or so aumaga’s helped out and that was definitely a bonus. If it was left up to me, I’d be looking at a week’s worth of hard slog!

I was hot and drenched as I walked in the umukuka. I absent mindedly threw the sapelu on the floor and then threw my body after that on the long wooden pew. Before long the smell of koko wafted through. I didn’t know my sister was prepping it as she was quiet as a ghost around the hidden umukuka partition.

What time was it now? Ah yes, it was 4pm in the evening this be! And whilst my body was not necessarily sore, I was nevertheless feeling fatigue settling in. So obviously I had no clue as to when I drifted off save for the fact that I heard an echo that seemed to come down a long as pipe. Incoherent at first but eventually my name registered in my brain.

I snapped out of it head bolted up right to find a tin cup of freshly brewed koko in front me, complimented by a plate of falaoa with thick smatterings of siamu popo.

I needed no invitation, you can do the math of food to mouth in ex amount of seconds! My hands that were once worn and heavy were suddenly moving with fever speed like a violinist sawing down on that instrument in the final movements of his piece with gusto.

To put this in slow motion terms so you can appreciate it, I deftly held that divine looking slice in my hand. I suppose it would be like Moses nervously wrapping his fingers around the commandment tablets that’s how I was as I loiloi’d it, mercifully slow, luxuriously patient into the tin cup. And when drawn out and up, the falaoa soaked in that koko is an indescribable moment in time. I simply don’t have the words adequate enough to articulate the feeling of self contentment when this is consumed. Normally this sort of feat don’t last long anyway but as you know, this moment certainly qualifies as the ‘finer thangs in life’ and as such, it would be such an injustice to gulp it down in an uncivilized manner. After all, I consider myself a church going person. How that is related to loiloi-ring a piece of falaoa with siamu popo I haven’t a clue but it sounds profound and heart warming anyway so there!

Try it sometime.

You don’t know what you’re missing!


aumaga: adj: a collective term for untitled men of the village responsible for the chores

tiapula: noun: the stem of the indigenous taro plant that is part of the Samoan culture’s staple diet

lafo: verb: clearing the land preparing it for planting crops

ma’umaga: noun: plantation

umukuka: noun: kitchen

koko: noun: cocoa

falaoa: noun: bread

siamu popo: noun: jam made out of caramelized coconut cream (scraped and freshly squeezed)

sapelu: noun: machette

DRE 2009

0 thoughts on “Loiloi

  1. Iiiiiioooee…the comfort foods of Samoa: the sweet aroma of a freshly brewed pot of koko; the warm thick slices of falao covered with a spread of siamu popo (or, in my case, grape jam mixed with butter)!

    No invitation needed, appetite not necessarily required, dipping skills negotiable, drips of koko from the freshly dipped falao pardoned,…(*nostalgically sighs*)…the ‘finer things in life’ indeed.

  2. Ooh so TEASING with your slow motion LOILOI! As I slowly read le falaoa slathered with siamupopo loiloi`d in that cup of koko, my mouth started watering. Mind you, savouring all the descriptions and the images formed in my mafaufau as if I could actually smell and taste it all. Fai mai ua iiiiiiiiiiii lava le manava.

  3. LOL@kolokea

    Good one Dre. never mind that you haven’t washed your hands but reached out to the falaoa dressed with that siamu popo and loiloi in that cup of koko. since the drenched falaoa couldn’t hold the thickness of the koko now the left over running down your fingers and now you put the whole piece in your mouth and mimiki the rest which covering your five fingers. now your fingers been washed. Oh gosh remind me of the good old days. the life o le Samoa fai fatu aiga.
    thanks Dre…

  4. lol ooops i pressed enter too soon..got excited..:D

    THAT was funny…that feeling of seeing food for the first time evrytime [lol] caveman instincts haha..oohh so tru tho, got me hungry.

    Enjoyed the read..especially the descriptive slow motion part haha


  5. SNG! Sole!


    You know we was ALL trying to ignore the obvious fact of dirt under the fingernails…but, Oh, no! you had to go into detail for those of us who hadn’t noticed, and for those of us who had noticed, but chose to IGNORE!

    The title of this piece is “Loiloi” not “Fufulu kou Lima”! (*ioe, fa’asa’o mai*)

  6. Yes indeed’ems bruh! everytime i have kin come out fomr the islands they GOT to bring back a fta jar of siamu! oh my gooosssh my mouth is salivating at the thought over some good bread…



  7. SEGA
    thank you my friend that’s kind of you to say 🙂 blessings to yourhouse

    heh heh you not da only one dat lethal combo is righteous for the evening fank you so much for droppin by KD :o)

    smiles.. you got it down pat my friend heh heh .. love it!!!

    lol @ i o le magava… i so know wot you mean.. happy oodles you felt the vibe my friend.. ain’t nuffin like a Sa culinary treat of the kind :o)

    hahahahahahha… like it .. like it.. i like your analytical approach.. good to see the details are picked out and continuity is followed through (no pun intended of course :o)
    well, for the unwashed hands, it’s like that you know.. you come in from da ma’umaga dead as a dog, flop on that thur pew with da thot of food or/and water and nothing else :o) and it happens :o)
    and as for the physically defying moment of the soaked falaoa not collapsing ina wet piece of a sponge look-a-like onda table and not my mouth, ia,you write thur BUT i will say i was like, mega quickness hahahahahahahahaa… thank youuuuuuu for your presence my friend :o)

    nods atcha heh heh…. yeah that was my favorite part when I had to ‘play it again one time Sam’ onda falaoa thang ;o)
    thanks for dropping by suga.. respects to you


    hey cuz fanks oodles ay for stoppin by and da kind sentiments.. wa? wa mai lega iku? :o)

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