Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Today on Guam, the majority of people who even chew pugua' (betel nut) do so without adding pupulu, the pepper leaf.

But the real custom is to chew a combination of pugua', pupulu and åfok (baked limestone).  Many man åmko' also added amåska or chewing tobacco.

But how do you know which leaves of the pupulu bush to pick?  Terry and Frank explain this to me in the video.


In Saipan, there is another variety of pupulu called pupulun Yap (Yap pupulu).  It more or less looks like Marianas pupulu but tends to be larger and the feel of the leaf just a tiny bit thicker and the texture just a tad bit more rubbery.  It's the taste that presents the biggest contrast; far more peppery (pika) than the Marianas variety.  Am sure it was brought to Saipan by our Carolinian brethren, who relish this variety of leaf.  I like it, too.
Pupulun Yap - looks the same but packs a meaner punch

(Devil's Pupulu)
This is the only other traditional variety of pupulu on Guam.  It isn't chewed with pugua', but it has medicinal usages.  It doesn't look like regular pupulu.  It is more rounded and has a duller color.

If I remember correctly, wetted pupulun anite can be placed directly on one's forehead to get rid of a head ache; after which, one might develop a "devil-may-care" attitude about the rest of the day.

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