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Alternative namesPoke
Place of originPolynesia
Region or stateCook Islands, Easter Island, French Polynesia
Main ingredientsFruit purée, starch, coconut cream

Poʻe or poke is a pudding originating from Eastern Polynesia, usually eaten as a dessert.


The Tahitian word po'e is derived from the proto-Polynesian root poke which means "to mix", "to knead".[1] It is still called poke in all Polynesian languages except in the Tahitian language and in the Austral language on the island of Raivavae where the glottal stop (written as an apostrophe ') has replaced the voiceless velar stop (k).


Traditionally po'e was made by cooking and mashing bananas into a smooth consistency and mixing together with arrowroot flour.[2] The mixture was wrapped in banana leaves and baked in an earth oven until set into a pudding-like consistency, cut into smaller pieces and served together with coconut cream. Modern versions of the recipe replace bananas with other fruits such as papaya, mango or squash[3][4] and using cassava[5] or corn starch as the thickening agent.

See also[edit]

  • Kulolo – a traditional Hawaiian dessert, made from grated taro and coconut milk baked into a pudding
  • Poi – a similar traditional banana dessert, from Samoa


  1. ^ Greenhill, Simon J.; Clark, Ross (2011). POLLEX-Online : The Polynesian Lexicon Project Online. Oceanic Linguistics. pp. 551–559.
  2. ^ Lal, B.V.; Fortune, K. (2000). The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia. The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-8248-2265-1. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  3. ^ Society of Ethnobotanists (India) (1989). Ethnobotany: Journal of Society of Ethnobotanists. M/S Deep. p. 5. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Spasifik Me'A Kae: Flaovours of the Pacific
  5. ^ The definitive Cook Islands website Cook Islands Recipes, Poke – Traditional sweetener supplied by Mereana Hutchinson, Rarotonga

External links[edit]