The next stop in my island hopping adventures is Fiji. Not being one that typically opts for beach vacation, I’m not sure if Fiji is near the top of my travel wish list, and therefore I know little about it other than it’s a popular beach destination and it takes a lot of hours to get there from where I sit here in Chicago.
After some online scouring, I learned that Fiji is actually a cluster of about 300 volcanic islands and has a diverse mix of peoples from Polynesian, Indian, Melanesian, Chinese and some European decent. Even though Fijian cuisine relies heavily on the same natural ingredients we just saw in Tonga (sweet potatoes, taro, cassava, seafood) and will most likely see in the rest of the island nations, what distinguishes Fijian cuisine is the creativity with which those raw foodstuffs are prepared. Some of that creativity is probably due to inspiration drawn from heavy Indo-influence, which means that some of the cuisine shares elements of the colorful curries and spices typically associated with it.
Like Tonga, the Fijians do a lot of their cooking by steaming foods in heated underground area, a style called lovo. Since my landlord would most likely frown on me digging a pit in my apartment, I will not be doing it lovo style. Life goes on.
This is a Lovo
Ginger baked cod
Sweet potato and pineapple bake
Lentil and Potato Curry with Coconut Chutney