Polynesian arrowroot plant.
It has a distinctive appearance, sort of like the potato plant.
Also note the distinctive flowers
Back at the hut making a basket
Fire hardening a digging stick in the furnace
Scrapping off the charred wood to form a sharp point
This plant is abundant in the hills near the hut,
brought here by Polynesian seafarers 5000 years ago.
Hammering in the stick is sometimes easier than digging
Carefully levering up the tuber
The tuber Plant and tuber
Leaving the plant intact while harvesting tuber
filling in hole
Leave the plant to make another tuber next year
Each tuber took about 3 minutes to dig up without damaging them
Full basket Tuber tastes bitter and needs processing
Washing tubers Clean tubers
Grating tubers on roof tile (any rough object will do, the tubers are soft)
Using a barrel roof tile is easier
Scooping gratings into pot of water
The starch is separated from the pulp and suspended in water
Scooping the starchy water into another pot
while leaving the pulp behind
Refilling the pot with the mash with water
Scooping more starch water into the other pot
After the starch settles (a few hours)
the clear water is poured off while the starch remains at the bottom
Mash pot refilled
More starch water transferred
Mash on the right of screen, pure starch on the left
Starch still tastes bitter
Rinsing starch with water
Pouring off bitter compounds in the starch
This was done several times,
filling with water, settling and pouring off.
Tastes good now.
Putting on tile to dry
Force drying over furnace
Dry starch, similar to corn flour
Some of it cooked in the heat, forming gelatinous masses
The cooked starch is chewy and tastes like rice noodles
Storing flour in a pot
Making a pancake on a tile
flipping cake with a bark spatula
Cake is clear, gelatinous and sticky
It tastes like a rice noodle and has a similar texture.
It has a starchy taste and gives energy,
improving mood almost immediately
It could probably be dried in noodle form to be stored
for future meals or the starch used to thicken soups.
Processing the rest of the left over mash
Polynesian arrowroot plant, tuber and starch