A photo of seaweed. While it's not specifically classified as limu kohu, they both have similar characteristics.

(Picture taken with permission from unitedstreaming.)

Seaweed. Paul Fuqua. 2005. unitedstreaming. 7 February 2006

Limu Kohu


Hawaiian Name: Limu Kohu
Scientific Name: Asparagopsis taxiformis


Limu Kohu is a soft, small seaweed used as a condiment in many Hawaiian meals. It is either pink or dark red, and its stem gives way to a densely branched furry top. Limu Kohu is an important source of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iodine, and an important source of vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, B12, and riboflavin.

How limu came to be a large part of the Hawaiian diet is unknown. It may have resulted from the many kapu (taboo) restricting women’s eating, for they may have turned to sea plants and animals as alternative nutrition sources. The limu gathering and preparation were women’s responsibility; in fact, they used to be experts on limu. Limu Kohu was collected at low tide from the reef or gathered as drift deposits after a storm. Limu Kohu was not gathered in winter because of the heavy seas, so it was heavily salted and stored in small covered bowls to preserve it during the winter months.

 

Sources

“Limu.” 19 December 2005. <http://hoolono.org/limu.html>.

Preskitt, Linda. “Edible Limu: Gifts from the Sea.” 19 December 2005. <http://www.hawaii.edu/reefalgae/publications/ediblelimu/>.

Seaweed. Paul Fuqua. 2005. unitedstreaming. 7 February 2006.