No Pig-Latin Required 

A Kalua pig roast is as common in the Hawaiian Islands as an American hot dog is at a baseball game. A big difference on the islands is the time-consuming preparation required using an underground oven, or imu, for the pig roast. Patience is key. Slow cooking is the secret to rich, moist, tender pork with just the right amount of smoky taste that cannot be duplicated. To be fortunate enough to watch the ceremonial process is a privilege few tourists afford. After two hours the lava rocks are hot enough for the entire pig, which is wrapped in chicken wire, to be placed in the imu by two sturdy men. Taro, sweet potatoes, and ulu breadfruit are tucked around the pig before banana leaves and wet burlap completely encase it. A canvas tarp becomes the next covering. Last, but not least, dirt is used like the lid on a pot. Set the timer. The pig will roast underground for eight hours, saturating all the flavors. Once the multiple layers are removed, the tender pork is shredded and the luau begins. Aloha!

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