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August 5, 2019 | by  | in Food |
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Feed’s On

“Mmmm reminds me that I’m brown. A little bit dry until you take your second bite. I would smash five.” – G Vaeau 

 

You know that saying ‘if you know, you know’? Mama Rere’s Island Doughnuts is the epitome of that saying. They can be found at the Porirua Markets in Waitangirua. Find the car parked right at the back with the boot open, filled with those staple white polystyrene bins. There will be a few people hanging around the car with an ice-cream container. That’s where you drop the shmoney. And no, doughnuts isn’t a code word, this really is how you buy them. Good luck, and don’t expect change (not that it matters cos they’re worth every cent). Price really does depend on who you are. Wear your ei katu and make a good impression—it’s a long-term investment. 

 

“One word. Flavoursome. I’m parked up here for the day.” 

 

Are we correct in saying chop suey is really an umbrella item of food across the whole of Polynesia? A kaikai staple, a unifying force. While its origins may be unclear, we once again stumbled across pure gold stuffed to maximum capacity in a container at—you guessed it—Porirua Markets. In a grey, unassuming caravan with a homemade sharpie sign, $6 can get you enough fried rice and chop suey to appetise approximately 4 adults and 2 children. It was undoubtedly the most highly rated item of food we ate that day. This was set in stone for us after many requests from our children for “more of the rice and noodle stuff”.  

 

Goes great with the donuts. Awesome for dipping. Pepe-approved.

 

“Reminds me of home.” 

 

We tried two types of keke mamoe, one from Samoa’s Finest and one from a van at the market that we don’t really remember anything about, other than the fact that it was grey with a green stripe. We were lucky enough to have an expert in Samoan kai among us, the one and only George Vaeau. According to him, green van’s keke lamb were exactly like classic Samoan street vendors in Apia. BUT—Samoa’s Finest came through with the winner: It had the softest keke, the best tasting meat that wasn’t too overpowering, and was just overall a really enjoyable experience. 11/10 would recommend.   

 

“Perfectly sweet.”

 

PASEFIKA caravan at the Porirua Markets took the prize for best Panipopo and Panikeke of the day. Of the bun-to-cream ratio, Ruben Parata said something along the lines of, “a dreamy, generous helping”. George said the Panipopo were the “fancy shape” and that if you brought it to school in Samoa, people would think you were fancy. The Panikeke were cooked to order… and in the words of Georgia Gifford, “She was freshhhhhh.” We think PASEFIKA caravan is fancy AF—even if their koko samoa was too strong for our colonised taste buds.

 

George and Ruben were gutted that they were out of pineapple pie/half-moon pie/pai fala

 

Samoa’s Finest gave us taro that was just that—fine :( According to George, their fa’apāpā needed to be more dense and stubborn—see Israel Folau’s religious beliefs. Their pineapple pie was good as expected, but we had a couple of confused kukis on our hands when Jade and Georgia noticed the absence of cream and custard. It’s not called ‘Cook Island’s Finest’ so that comment is disregarded, but duly noted for the next tour. We also tried povi masima and SHOUTOUT to tangata whenua, cos it reminded us of the iconic Māori struggle meal where corned beef meets cabbage and her boring friends—an assortment of flavourless steamed vegetables. Tiheiiiii, mauri ora. 

 

P.S. Does anyone know what part of the lamb the flaps come from? Asking 4 a friend and 2 very confused children (Tarapuhi and Georgia).

 

Special award: Most Versatile

Cook Island doughnuts know no limits when it comes to flavour—dip it in your Milo, stack it up with chop suey, or eat it by itself. It’s almost as fluid as our pre-colonial indigenous constructs of gender and sexuality cough cough @israel folau

P.S. There is a major LACK of non-Polynesian food in Ptown. We would’ve loved to see some more Nesians represented at the markets/wider Porirua area. 

Apologies: Palusami/Luau, koko alaisa, vaisalo, supo esi, suafa’i, faiai elegi, kale mamoe

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