TODAY   |  May 20, 2013

TODAY throws a luau: Hula, Kahlua pig, and poi

The TODAY anchors learn about traditional Hawaiian luaus, get classes in hula and blowing conch shells, which signals the beginning of a luau, and taste-test luau staples like poi and Kahlua pig.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> come on, willie .

>> now we can try the kahala. alternating your feet.

>> this is called the hela. and the last one, around in a circle.

>> this is the one we've been waiting for.

>> come on matt, let's see it.

>> this is going on the chris mass blooper reel for sure. okay. nice, willie , work it. work it. thank you, nicole. this is kind of addictive.

>> put it all together and what do you have? our goal christmas reel. thank you very much.

>> thank you, nicole. thank you.

>> let's go over here and learn how to play the conch shell . hongi how are you? nice to meet you. this is called what traditionally?

>> it's a conch shell but called a pu in hawaii.

>> go ahead and blow the pu.

>> first you hold the pu. willie here's your pu.

>> very punchy this morning.

>> you can hold this?

>> sure.

>> then what do we do?

>> make sure the hole is sticking up, take a deep breath. make sure the hole is facing up, take a deep breath, lips pressed against the opening.

>> against the u.

>> against the pu, and blow. ready? try to make your lips vibrate.

>> willie geist !

>> i've got a lot of air.

>> see if the girls can do it. you try.

>> that's the fattest pu i've ever heard.

>> natalie! i've got no pu'ing ability. people use this during ceremonies?

>> common throughout the south pacific , commitment of ceremonies and signal the arrivals of high chiefs.

>> you're two miles away .

>> yes.

>> thank you very much. time for a luau.

>> let's go. afasia, let's taste some of the beautiful delicacies.

>> traditional luau future, kahlua pig, prepared in an underground oven. not kahlua as in the alcohol, very different. if you try anything, troy the poi. sacred to the hawaiian people . poi is the root of the arrot mashed up with water to a consistency.

>> it's an acquired taste i'm told.

>> it is.

>> you either love it or hate it.

>> ooh, i like it.

>> you don't like it with the kahlua pig in there?

>> it's really good. i like it a lot.

>> a little bit of spice. so the traditional food, sweet potato or waa, that's the kahlukahlu kahlua, and this is laulau, taro leafs, salted pork or chicken prepared in the emu.

>> can i try the pork? just dive in here?

>> sure.

>> all right.

>> tell me how that is.