CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 26…Fiji a beautiful South Pacific Island…

Welcome back to my A-Z of World Cuisines after the Christmas and New Year break…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…

Today I am looking at the cuisine of Fiji…

After nearly a century as a British colony, Fiji became independent in 1970…a country in the South Pacific, Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands. It’s famed for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons.

Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu contain most of the population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with British colonial architecture as you would expect after being a British colony for nearly a century…

Traditionally, the Fijian cooking method uses an open fire or an underground oven dug out of the ground and covered with banana leaves. Still used today, the Lovo or underground overcooking is a thrilling cultural experience for all travellers to Fiji.

Just seeing lovely fresh fish or meat cooked like this would heighten the senses and the food would taste sublime…

Surrounded by water seafood has to be one of the major players in Fijian cuisine however you may also find a curry to die for…Rice, sweet potatoes, taro, coconuts, cassava, breadfruit, and of course, fish, have made up the majority of the Fijian diet for centuries…with traditional recipes passed down through the ages…like the “Lovo” yes that pretty BBQ in the image above is the traditional way to cook a feast of fish, meats and vegetables wrapped in banana leaves… it is cooked in a makeshift underground oven that is dug into the earth, lined with coconut husks and covered with stones.

Having been traditionally prepared to celebrate significant events in the village, like a wedding or a festival. Today, most resorts offer regular lovo feasts for their guests to enjoy…

With so much fresh fish available there has to be ceviche on the menu here it is called kokoda a delicacy made of raw fish marinated in coconut cream, onions, tomatoes and lime…

I am drooling as I type all those flavours are ones readily available here and ones I love…This national dish of Fiji is served in a large clamshell, coconut shell or bamboo in a festive style.

Because roughly 40% of Fiji’s population is of Indian descent…this came about in the late 19th century and early 20th century when Indians were sent to Fiji by their British colonial rulers to work on sugarcane plantations…hence Indo-Fijian food that is like anything you’d find in Delhi or Mumbai, with spicy curries, rice and roti bread…also a small part of the population is of  Chinese descent therefore if Chinese is your favoured cuisine then you will find it here.

Fiji is also rich in tropical and juicy fruits such as sea grapes, pawpaw, banana, various melons and of course pineapple and jackfruit! …Nama or sea grapes or green grapes grow in shallow waters, are similar to caviar (fish eggs), and are served with chillies and lemon… they are something that we eat here on occasion the kids love them…I like them if I can get a look in -smile-

It is also used as a garnish in Fiji and can be added to either a salad or coconut milk. Nama contains Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

Fijians use Nama with coconut to make a thick paste known as kora made by first squeezing the coconut milk from the freshly grated coconut, separating the milk and the grated coconut, packing them in sacks and dipping it into the sea for two weeks or more it is the seawater that gives it its unique taste…This is then served with seafood…and it is apparently most delicious…

Another delicacy is the Sea urchin, locally known as Cawaki, which is the only species of urchin in Fiji that is edible. So much so that it has become a popular delicacy in coastal villages. Cawaki is found in Fiji’s shallow coral reef ecosystem. The women of Fiji provide the main collection process for the Cawaki, after which they take the Cawaki to sell at markets. .. collecting and selling sea urchins is now a source of income for women.

Palusami is popular in Fiji and is made of boiled Taro leaves mashed into a curry and has a stewed spinach flavour. Little to no spices or chillies are used in this dish which is garnished with coconut cream. These leaves are stuffed with meat, sometimes corned beef, with onions and a coconut mixture because fresh meat isn’t always available.​

It wouldn’t be a trip to Fiji if you didn’t sample the Mahi Mahi…although the fish is most often used when making Kokoda… and It is very popular not only with locals but tourists and usually grilled or cooked in a frying pan and served with vegetables…Mahi Mahi Mahi Mahi is a fish sourced from the deep waters around Fiji.

If you have been or are planning a visit to Fiji then don’t forget to try the National drink of Kava…

Kava is described as a drug made from ground-up roots of a South Pacific plant, the Piper methysticum, a member of the pepper family and is taken as a drink. Kava is traditionally made of crushed, ground, or powdered root soaked in water and drunk as tea and has been used by Pacific Islanders for hundreds of years. Kava is used in traditional ceremonies and cultural events in the Pacific region.

When travelling I always head for the markets as that is often where you will find the most amazing Street Food…not so In Fiji…you will find very little cooked food sold in markets partly due to the heat and lack of refrigeration although there is a newish project called “Street Foods Fiji” outside Port Denarau on the mainland side of the bridge that crosses the river to the Island of Denarau about 20 minutes drive from Nadi International Airport, it is as close as the country comes to authentic micro restaurants, selling a variety of traditional and Indo-Fijian snack plates…however, it would still be an experience to wander around the markets trying lovely unusual fresh fruits and drinks…

Thank you for joining me today for this virtual tour of Fiji as always I look forward to your comments xx

34 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 26…Fiji a beautiful South Pacific Island…

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Hi, Petunia Petal visually your blog is very pretty and well laid out …If you wish to attract more readers/followers then make a meaningful comment on any blogs that you like and reply to the comments over time that will increase your readers …Have a lovely week 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Petunia Petals

        Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog! I really appreciate it. I especially love and appreciate the fact that you’re writing me back. I will definitely take more time out to read and comment on other people’s blogs. There’s just so much good reading material out there! I absolutely love blogging now and am so grateful that I have decided to pursue my own blog. It’s just so much fun. The whole process of thinking about the material and trying to figure out the best way to convey what you’re trying to say. I absolutely love blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…22nd-28th January 2023-Monday Musings , #Fiji A-Z of World Cuisine, Thursday Thoughts, Walnut Brittle and from Sally #The Brain and its functions Dementia and Alzheimer’s… | Retired? No one told me!

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Hi Robbie…I don’t mind some fish raw and if it is cooked in citrus I find it ok for me but I never used to it has grown on me since living here-smile- Have a great weekend Robbie 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2 World Cuisines From A-Z! Bite Into Fiji! A Beautiful South Pacific Island… – Bite! Eat! Repeat!

  3. tidalscribe.com

    Truly exotic food, because it is all totally different from anything we have. I do love the idea of wrapping everything in banana leaves, so environmentally friendly and no washing up. Among the many people from everywhere working at Heathrow, I met someone from Fiji who said ‘you won’t have heard of my home’ but of course I had heard of Fiji, just didn’t know much about it. But I always wonder how people from islands that sound like paradise end up on the other side of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Absolutely I love that way of cooking banana and pandan leaves are used everywhere here for cooking…I never understand why people leave but they do its a big world and maybe more opportunities than on an island however beautiful it is..

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Sue Dreamwalker

    OH Wow.. Carol…. LOVE this…. Looks delicious and very healthy.. I would imagine the fish has to be very fresh etc, Making it more tasty… Many thanks for sharing and welcome back after your Holiday break Carol… Sending LOVE my friend ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Sue, for the welcome back…You can most certainly taste the difference in a freshly caught catch of fish it’s beautiful…Much love I hope you have a fabulous weekend dear Sue 🙂 x

      Like

      Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      They are, Ronit…the first time I saw them I was intrigued as they are such a vibrant green colour and they are truly very nice if I can get a look with the grandkids who love them-smile-I too love new ingredients it’s always a joy to discover them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Pingback: CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 26…Fiji a beautiful South Pacific Island… – MobsterTiger

  6. arlene

    We call that green grapes ararosep. We clean and wash it thoroughly, slice white onion,
    tomatoes and salted eggs then put them on top. Best eaten when it is fresh and crunchy.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  7. beetleypete

    Fiji is a place I always dreamed of visiting. I would love to try the food there, and experience the tropical atmosphere of the islands. That is not going to happen now, sadly.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      For me also sadly Fiji is not somewhere I will ever visit only virtually I should have started travelling much sooner in my life as there are many places I would love to visit and unfortunately never will but I have been luckier than some and you are also quite well travelled, Pete so for that I am grateful that I have had those opportunities in life 🙂 xx

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

Make my day leave a comment I love to hear from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.