12 Best Foods To Try When You Are On Fiji Vacation
Food is a sincere emotion, and it incorporates a land’s culture and diversity in itself. Fiji, given its location in the south pacific, is rich in tropical foods. The archipelago of 30 islands boasts multi-flavored cuisine. The Fijian food culture is embedded in history. From Melanesians to British and Indians to Dutch, the food in Fiji is witness to many cultures. Its exotic dishes offer a unique food experience to every traveler in Fiji. Its unique fusion of Indo-Fijian and Chinese influence on food is visibly appealing.
Food Culture in Fiji
While Hawaiian and Polynesian cuisines are famous all over the world, many travelers are not aware of Fijian food. Nevertheless, Fiji has a lot to offer. Natural cooking methods like roasting and open-fire cooking enhance the health and flavors of the food. The island’s rich multicultural food experience is like any other.
While seafood is given in the Pacific, Fiji food also uses rich spices to amplify the taste. The Island is rich in staples, tropical fruits, and vegetables. The primary elements of Fijian cuisines are sweet potato, rice, cassava, coconut, and fish. Hence, travelers can expect various food items with flavors and delicious dishes in Fiji.
The Best Food To Try When Visiting Fiji
The pristine beaches and natural landscape of Fiji are captivating to the eyes. At the same time, the luscious food satisfies the taste buds. Here is the best food that travelers should not miss when visiting Fiji.
The most popular traditional dish in Fiji, ‘’Kokoda,’’ is made up of the Island’s raw mahi-mahi fish or Spanish mackerel. Kokoda has many variations in Fiji. The fish is marinated in lime and lemon juices, similar to South American Ceviche. Fijians add onions, tomatoes, spring onions, seawater, and coconut milk to make it flavorful.
This national dish is served in a decorative style in a giant clamshell, bamboo, or coconut shell. It is an excellent dish as a starter as it refreshes the palate. Fijians love their Kokoda rich with coconut cream and spices. Almost every restaurant and resort in Fiji has its version of Kokoda.
This traditional dish is known for its cooking style. Lovo is cooked in an underground oven, also called a Lovo pit. It’s a barbecue-style dish with meat, vegetables, and seafood wrapped in banana and taro leaves and baked in the Lovo pit. The food is cooked on slow heat for three hours for the delectable flavor to surface.
Once cooked, it is ready to be served. The tender meat and smokey leaves are appetizing on the palate. The word Lovo means ‘’feast cooked in the earth’’, which aptly represents how Lovo is cooked. Almost every banquet or marriage is incomplete without Lovo in Fiji. If you visit Fiji, do not forget to taste some Lovo.
Nama is known as the longevity Seaweed due to its high concentration of vitamins and minerals. It is locally called ‘sea grapes’ and is found in many locations in Fiji. Usually, seaweed is used for cooking soup or stew, but Fijians differ in how they cook Nama.
The sea grapes are used as a vegetable, garnish, or mixed with coconut paste in a salad and can also be eaten raw. Locals also mix Nama with grated coconut, spices, lemon juice, and salt. You can find Nama in every restaurant in Fiji with your dish. It is served in salad and tastes like brine, similar to the sea.
4. Cawaki (Sea Urchin)
Cawaki is the only edible species of Urchin in Fiji. It is a popular delicacy in coastal areas of Fiji. Eating Cawaki is a pleasant experience and is available in all local markets of Fiji. You can buy Cawaki anywhere, crack it open and enjoy this unique urchin of Fiji.
Most women in Fiji do the job of collecting and selling Cawaki in markets. It is a source of income for many Fijian women. There is also a traditional belief that Cawaki has medicinal values. Locals like to eat their Cawaki with lemon, chilies, or dalo and other seafood dishes on the side.
Palusami is another favorite dish of Fiji. It’s made up of Taro leaves which are highly nutritious, and the leaves have a stewed spinach flavor. The taro leaves are boiled and mashed into a curry, and rich spices are added to make it flavorful. However, very little or no chili is used in the dish.
Garnishing with coconut cream at the end makes the dish delicious. The taro leaves are stuffed with meat or beef and a coconut mixture. Palusami’s delicious flavor makes it one of the best foods to try when visiting Fiji.
6. Fijian curry
A certain number of the Indian population have left their curry influence in Fijian cuisine. Nevertheless, the Fijian adaptation of Indian curry is deliciously different. The Fijian curry is typically made with tomatoes and coconut milk. Some variations of the dish also use green bananas or plantain.
Locals relish the Fijian curry with roti on the side. Travelers can find variations of Fijian curry all over Fiji. The more variations you try, the more you will fall for this dish.
7. Cassava Cake
One of the most popular desserts in Fiji is Cassava cake. Cassava is a root vegetable that grows in Fiji throughout the year. It is a staple diet of local Fijians. It is rich in vitamins A and C. Thus, Cassava cake is a healthy dessert.
The cake is moist and made with grated cassava, condensed milk, and coconut milk. It is a popular sweet dish at Fijian gatherings. The sweet and tender cake with its milky flavor tastes heavenly when eaten after a meal. It is available in restaurants and local shops in Fiji. Hence, do not forget to make some sweet memories with sugary cassava cake.
8. Duruka (Fijian Asparagus)
Duruka is the flower of a cane shoot. Its appearance is similar to sugarcane and has an edible center. It grows in most tropical climates, and people say its taste is nearly equivalent to corn. Fijians use Daruka in a wide variety of dishes.
Daruka curries, roasted Daruka, or coconut milk and Daruka. The variations are everywhere in Fiji. It is a popular dish among the islanders, and tourists can find it in any restaurant or local food stall. The dish goes well with a meal on the side.
9. Fish Suruwa
Like other Indian influences, Fish curry is another adaptation in Fiji cuisine. Around the 1850s, many Indians came to work as sugarcane planters on the Island. Since then, Fijian dishes have accumulated Indian flavor. The Suruwa fish is a curry dish where fish is cooked in coconut milk and mixed with flavorful spices.
It’s distinct from Indian fish curry and has Fijian coconut flavors. Usually served with rice or flat Indian bread, fish suruwa is a must-try dish when visiting Fiji. If you want to have the unique flavor of Fijian fish, Suruwa is a mouthwatering choice.
10. Chicken Chop Suey
Fiji cuisine significantly influences Chinese flavors, and chicken chop suey is a perfect example of Fijian-Chinese fusion. It is a staple food in many Chinese food stalls on Fiji’s main Island Viti Levu. Fijians add bean sprouts, carrots, and Chinese cabbage to make it a delicious combination of chicken with Fijian vegetables.
The tangy flavor of chicken chop suey is quite distinct from traditional Fijian food flavors. Savor this delicious dish on your trip to add some chicken flavors to your food list.
11. Fijian Crabs Curry
Popularly known as curry vakalolo mud crabs in Fiji. The rich quality of this dish makes it one of the famous plates of seafood in Fiji. The dish has its origins in South-East Asia and Pacific Islands countries.
Fijian crabs are an excellent combination of crabs and coconut cream. The chef mixes crabs in a pot full of aromatic spices, adds coconut cream, and leaves the pot for 40 minutes. Its fragrance is surprisingly mouthwatering. This unique crab curry is best served with warm steamed rice and makes for a perfect meal on the Fijian shores.
12. Vudi Vakasoso- Plantains in Coconut Milk
Vakasoso in English means addition or something that’s added. It is an exquisite Fijian sweet in which coconut milk is added to plantain. This tender variety of bananas is grown on Fiji’s islands. Mixed with milk and other ingredients leaves a savory scent, inviting food lovers to join the sweet feast.
It can be consumed warm or cold as it tastes better both ways. Vudi Vakasoso is an iconic Fijian sweet topped with dinner and relished with soft Fijian waves.
The soft coral capital of the world, Fiji is also the flavorful archipelago of the pacific. Its rich food culture beckons food travelers and tourists alike. Fijian dishes are health-conscious and palate conscious. The Island’s wide coconut diary variety is a common ingredient that enhances the taste of every plate. Stay connected with leisure.com to know more about the best food items in the world’s famous tourist locations.
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