Issue 24: Koko Samoa, Samoa's National Drink
This week, my focus has been on Koko Samoa, considered to be Samoa’s national drink. If I had realised that Samoa had a hot chocolate as their national drink, I probably would have moved there (my kind of people).
On our drive through the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, we stopped at a farm stall on the side of the road that was selling cocoa pods. While deciding on which one to buy, the owner came out for a chat. We started chatting about the cocoa tree he had in his backyard, and he mentioned that his wife, who is Samoan, makes Koko Samoa and drinks it every night before going to bed. He offered to sell us some of her home made Koko Samoa and we, of course, said yes.
I have written up the history of this drink along with a recipe and my thoughts in my most recent post up now. This is now my new obsession. In Samoa, friends and family come together to drink these on a daily basis. It is made using Koko Samoa grated down and added to boiling water. Sugar is added to taste. It has a roasted flavour, almost like a coffee and is very good. The highlight though is the pegu, little pieces of cocoa nibs left intact I the chocolate that you can chew on as you sip. It’s very different than your traditional hot chocolate, but I encourage you to give it a try.
I enjoyed my Koko Samoa with a Samoan panipopo. These are sweet buns generously soaked in sweet coconut sauce (equal parts coconut and sugar). I got mine from Nesian, a Polynesian restaurant in Perth that serves amazing food. We had a Koko cooking spree here in the house after that and made a few other local favourites including Koko alias (cocoa rice) and korai (chocolate dumplings). In Samoa you can also find Koko Eli (cocao-papaya soup).
What I’ll do if I ever get a chance to visit Samoa (apart from eating a lot of Koko)
Samoa has two main islands, Upolu and Savai’i.
To-Sua “giant swimming hole” is a 30 metre deep ocean trench
Visit the Robert Louis Stevenson museum (think Treasure Island)
Visit the Palolo Deep Marine Reserves
Visit the turtle sanctuary in Satoalepai
Try Koko Loa chocolates
Hot Chocolate News is back next week. I’ve been too busy eating Samoan Koko treats to do any reading. Priorities…
If you liked this newsletter, could you please share it with a few other hot chocolate loving friends?
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
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