My Dad and I would joke about how this translates into “bang bang bread” because the words could also loosely mean fa’a (to do/to be) and pāpā (bang/hit), and that’s what you do before you bake it!
I haven’t actually made this before on my own but have made it with and watched mum make it (cook islander’s also make this food – so I’ve made it with her in Mitiaro when we would go over and spend Christmas/New year months there).
I like fa’apāpā. It’s not my favourite Samoan snack (I love masi saiga – a bit obsessively). I grew up eating this and know my grandmother used to make it when she was raising me. I’m pretty sure she would keep these handy in her handbag during church services or housie too – no doubt. My grandfather absolutely loved these too and during the school holidays when I would live with him, we would walk to the Mount Roskill bakery (or sometimes drive to other local polynesian shops) and buy fa’apāpā, along with kalo and other groceries.
A sweet snack when out and about, easy to store and easy to eat too lol. Also – vegan for those who are interested. Fa’apāpā is also used for fa’ausi, which I’ll make another time.
Recipe (makes 2 “loves” – taken from the Samoa Food blog):
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/3 cup shredded/desiccated coconut
- 1/3 cup sugar (I used brown sugar but want to try this with raw sugar)
- 200 ml coconut milk (I used light coconut milk for the fa’apāpā pictured below)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Grease two separate squares of baking paper to wrap your loaves in and a baking tray to put them on.
- Sift the flour in a bowl then mix in your desiccated coconut, sugar and mix evenly.
- Add your coconut milk and mix until you have your fa’apāpā dough.
- Separate into two “loaves” and wrap them in the two separate sheets of baking paper.
- Bake for 35 – 45 min.
- Slice and enjoy!