A Hala é uma das plantas mais importantes para culturas tropicais do Oceano Pacífico.
No Havaí, Micronésia, Polinésia, Indonésia e Ilhas Marshall, esta planta é uma fonte de energia de um coqueiro do qual tudo se aproveita. A árvore da Hala está em toda parte: na cozinha, os telhados das casas e até mesmo nos mitos e provérbios passados de geração em geração.
Seu nome científico é Pandanus tectorius e cresce perto das praias paradisíacas de Aguaza graças à sua resistência à salinidade do mar, à seca e ao vento.


O tamanho do fruto é variável: pode chegar a até 20 centímetros de diâmetro e 30 de comprimento e ser composto por mais de 200 cunhas tricolores.  Ele tem um gosto um pouco doce como uma pera e é fibroso como abacaxi. É uma importante fonte de vitamina C e em muitos lugares é consumida como uma atividade social fora do horário das refeições.


A Hala tem 321 calorias por 100 g, um pouco menos que a banana. Para alguns povos da Micronésia é responsável por até 50% da energia diária. Lá você pode comer até 1 kg por dia e quase 3 kg quando está na época. Ela pode ser comida crua ou cozida, mas sendo um espécime selvagem é melhor cozinhar, uma vez que contêm cristais de oxalato de cálcio que podem irritar a boca. Ela também pode ser seca e triturada como farinha que é então misturada com um líquido e servida como bebida. Suas folhas são usadas em pratos doces.


Os nativos dizem que a Hala tem propriedades medicinais para combater muitas doenças, de um simples resfriado ou hemorróidas à asma, hepatite e câncer. E nas Ilhas Marshall, as flores são considerados afrodisíacas, mas não existem estudos de comprovação.
As culturas do Pacífico encontraram muitos outros usos além dos culinários e medicamentosos.  Os samoanos e outros povos costumam usar as cascas para fazer colares de Ula e boas vindas, secando as cascas e pintando de vermelho.

Curiosidades:
O medicamento desta árvore é dito para fortalecer a mente e o espírito.
Os havaianos acreditam que quando este fruto cai da árvore não deve ir para o oceano, porque as ondas se tornam elevadas e perigosas.
A flor da Hala é chamada Hinano e tem uma fragrância agradável. Seu pólen é usado para preservar colares de plumas e também é usado por meninas do Havaí como um encanto de amor.
As folhas da fruta são utilizadas para fazer tapetes muito finos e também numa infusão para aliviar a dor de cabeça.
As flores são também utilizadas para a constipação. Algumas partes dos ramos são utilizadas como canudos.

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