We would like to introduce you to the koa tree, from where our restaurant gets its name. We want to give you an idea of why this majestic tree is so important to us and why we’re so fascinated by it.
Koa, an impressive tree
The koa is a species of acacia endemic on the islands of Hawaii. It is of great importance and value to to the native inhabitant population. Deeply rooted in culture and history. This evergreen, spineless acacia is protected on the islands. It is known for its rapid growth and it reaches heights up to 35 meters, making it the highest tree in Hawaii. The broad treetop is rounded and the trunk often measures up to 35 m in diameter.
Interwoven with the Hawaiian culture
The most striking feature of this tree is definitely its leaves. These “leaves” grow initially in a thick and smooth crescent shape and these so called phyllodies serve as stems for the actual leaves which in turn are composed of a series of smaller leaves. From March till May the tree develops small spherical, yellow blossoms. The blossoms as well as the fruits, a kind of pulses, serve as a fertilizer for lower growing plants of the same area. Because of the koa forest, the soil can retain rain water extremely well. As already mentioned, the koa is very important for the inhabitants of Hawaii, for example from the leaves and blossoms they make leis, the traditional Hawaiian garlands and crowns, which are used for festivities and presentation ceremonies.
The exclusive wood of the koa tree
But the most curious aspect of this tree is undoubtedly its red-orange wood which is one of the most expensive in the whole world. It has always been used or building houses and crafting basic commodities like spears, fish-hook for shark hunting and musical instruments etc. But for the indigenous population the koa wood is even more important for shipbuilding, more precisely for the wakas, the traditional canoes. Not only because it is an extremely robust wood, but more importantly because it is resistant to salt water. In former times, only the surf boards of the ancient Hawaiian kings were made from this wood, which means it has an almost sacred significance for Hawaiian people.
Our restaurant in Palma de Mallorca and the mission “KOA”
One point we haven’t clarified yet, is the meaning of the word “koa” in Hawaiian language, namely “brave, bold, warrior”. That is one of the many reasons, why this tree enchants us. Because we want to be warriors in the kitchen, we want to be brave and bold while we invent new culinary creations to surprise our clients again and again with flavours, they have never tasted before. We take our name KOA, given by this unique, majestic tree, as an honor, as a task to reach the highest branches within the gastronomic world.