Indulge in the local cuisine of the Island.
Fiji, is widely known for its beaches and as an exotic destination. But her delicious cuisine is also as divine as her beaches, and her world renowned friendly and happy people!
Fiji comprises of 330 islands and maintains a rich culinary heritage. The Fijians, still practices traditional cooking methods, which consist of cooking over an open fire, or in an underground oven. Some of the popular ingredients in Fijian food are coconut, cassava, sea grapes, fresh local fish, breadfruit, taro, rice, sweet potato and others, all organically grown and in abundance. These are combined in creative ways to create the most amazing Fijian dishes. The large Indo-Fijian community now referred to as Fijians have also left a lasting impact on the country’s food, adding a variety of spices and herbs in all preparations which make food tantalizing and mouth-watering!
Seafood is a major highlight of this island providing needed the proteins. Fish and root vegetables normally make up a key portion of the Fijian local diet. You must try these mouth-watering dishes for a taste of local Fijian Cuisine on your next visit.
Fijians have their local take on Indian cuisine, with a Fijian curry typically made with coconut milk, tomatoes and can include the green cooking banana, plantain. Curries are always served with a side of dal soup and roti with chutney.
Cassava cake (traditional moist cake)
Another root vegetable that has a huge impact in Fiji cuisine is Cassava, and this sweet dessert is a testament to how tasty this ingredient is. Known as tapioca or sago in other parts of the world, cassava serves as the main showstopper in this sticky cake. The dessert dish has a similar texture to glutinous rice, and it’s usually topped with butter, fruit preserves, or fresh fruits. Cassava is known as such in Fiji but it is known in other regions as Tapioca or Sago. With its kind of similar consistency to sticky rice, you can top this with butter, jam, fresh fruits or whatever you like.
The most popular drink in Fiji – other than the fresh coconuts available everywhere, is Kava, a staple in this island’s food and drinks culture is something you must try when in Fiji. It’s made from yaqona roots that have been pounded and mixed with water. This drink has an earthy and peppery taste and is a relaxant which will help you relax in the lovely islands of paradise in Fiji!
Grilled mahi mahi
Mahi mahi is a type of deep water fish found in the Fiji Islands and a popular type of fish to eat. It is usually served grilled or panfried, served on a bed of vegetables and a jus. Mahi mahi and walu (kingfish) is often the fish used to make Kokoda which is fresh raw fish served in fresh coconut milk and local spices.
Kokoda, pronounced koh-kon-da, is a Fijian take on the raw fish dish, ceviche. Kokoda is made with fresh fish soaked in lemon or lime juice, which ‘cooks’ the fish. Spring onions, red onion, chillies, capsicum and tomatoes are regular additions, with the combination then soaked in coconut milk for a refreshing local fish dish. Kokoda is usually served as a starter and can come delivered in a coconut shell, bamboo or even a pineapple. Other basic ingredients found in kokoda are chilies, onions, and seawater. The most commonly used fish is walu, which is a Spanish mackerel. Kokoda is commonly served in a coconut shell.
Lovo is a traditional Fijian delicacy cooked in an underground oven, especially when there is a large social gathering, such as wedding or festival, similar to New Zealand’s ‘hangi’. The lovo pit, which is a homemade oven, is prepared by digging a hole in the ground, lined with coconut husks and heating special stones on the bottom layer. The husks are then lit on fire. The heated stones helps cook the meal. Meats such as chicken and fish are wrapped in banana leaves as well as various root crops layered above. The hole, filled with food, is then covered until it is smoking hot, when the cooked food is uncovered and shared. The cooking process can take 2-3 hours. This results in the meat becoming tender and flavourful. The leaves and underground oven also give lovo a smoky flavour and is a preparation you can’t miss in Fiji.
Rourou is a Fijian dish made from dalo or taro leaves. The leaves are cooked or stewed in coconut milk. It is served liked a soup often as a side to a fish main or mixed with chicken. In Fijian cuisine, the root is not the only part of the Taro plant that gets used. Rourou is the leafy part of the taro plant, which has a similar look and texture to spinach. It’s traditionally cooked by stewing in coconut milk until it reaches a creamy consistency. This delicious food is traditionally served as a side dish accompanying Fiji’s tasty main dishes. Drop a few fish, prawns or crabs in the rourou and see the fun. Yummy!