Green Ti Leaves
Inventory, bunch : 9.00
This item was last sold on : 11/28/14
Ti leaves are available year round.
The ti plant is an evergreen shrub also known as Hawaiian good luck plant, cabbage palm and by its common name Cordyline fruticosa. Currenlty a member of the Agavaceae family the ti plant has been previously categorized under several different families including Liliaceae, Cordyline and Dracaena. In Hawaii the leaves are often referred to as Ki leaves and are used not only for their culinary attributes but as a natural material used to make leis, hula skirts and sandals as well.
Smooth blade-shaped ti leaves measure about four inches wide and range from one to two feet in length. Depending upon variety they can be various hues of green, orange, yellow, purple, pink and red. When the weather is cooler in the winter and spring months the leaf color will often take on a richer hue. Ti leaves are glossy and flexible with a prominent rib running down the center of the leaf on its backside. Leaves grow in spiral clusters attached to the tip of the plants branches. When used as a wrap in cooked preparations the leaves impart a subtle grassy aroma.
Ti leaves were used medicinally by ancient Polynesians to treat a variety of ailments. Leaves could be boiled to make a tea that was said to aid in relaxation and relieve muscle tension. The young leaves could be boiled and used to aid in respiratory congestion. Ti leaves were also commonly wrapped around hot stones and used as a compress for injuries and used as a bandage.
Though the leaves of the ti plant are technically inedible they are commonly used in the culinary world as wrap when preparing foods. Use as a wrap when making grilled or steamed fish or form pockets or boats to make a mold for cooking custards and puddings. Use for wrapping when making the traditional Hawaiian dish of Lau Lau or for making Zongzi, a traditional snack in China popular during the Dragon Boat Festival. Try using in lieu of corn husks when making tamales or pasteles. Leaves can be used as garnish on serving platters or as individual plates for serving appetizers, salads and entrees.
Very important to the culture of the South Pacific, versatile ti leaves were commonly used to make thatch roofs, rain capes, clothing, ropes, sandals, fishing nets and serving plates and cups. Ancient Hawaiians also believed the leaves to be a symbol of royalty and good luck and held the power to ward off evil spirits when worn or used in religious ceremonies.
The ti plant is believed to be native to South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Most notably associated with Hawaiian culture the plant first made its way to the islands via Polynesian settlers known as Kanaka Maoli. The ti plant does best in areas that experience a large amount of irrigation and fall between 65 and 95 F in temperature. Today the ti plant thrives in the warm tropical regions of South East Asia, Australia, Hawaii, parts of Florida and throughout the South Pacific. It can also successfully be grown indoors year round if done so under the proper growing conditions.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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Recipes that include Green Ti Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
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|Tasting Kauai||Opah and Apple Banana en Papillote|
|The Tasty Island||Kalua Pig Roasted in a Barbecue Grill|
|My Hawaiian Home||Tamale Time|
|Ucle Charlie Hawaiian Storyteller||Uncle Charlie's "Bumbucha" Lau Lau|
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Near Chengamanad, Kerala, India
About 492 days ago, 7/24/13