When in Fiji, eat & drink as our locals do
Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji
HERE are three must-try recommendations that are truly Fijian experiences.
No electric oven needed. Chicken, pork, fish and root crops: taro (dalo), yams and tapioca (cassava) are simply wrapped in banana leaves and then placed over heated stones and buried in the earth. Also referred to as ground oven or cooking pit, it is one of the simplest and most ancient cooking structures that effectively traps heat to bake, smoke, or steam food. After several hours, food is removed from the earth and you’ve got an authentic, savoury lovo that’s tasty. Best enjoyed with salads made form locally-grown vegetables and seasonal fruit. Ask for lovo at your resort, hotel or cruise.
Preparing the lovo where food is cooked in the earth. Blue Lagoon Cruises photo.
Try the ceremonial drink yaqona or kava, made from the root of the pepper tree (Piper Methysticum). Many resorts, hotels and cruises offer either a simple tasting or a village visit where you can enjoy a bilo (bowl made from coconut shell) at a yaqona ceremony. Often described as Fiji’s ‘national drink’, drinking kava is also a social past-time. You’ll find bundles of the kava root piled high among packets of the powdered form in many municipal markets in Suva, Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa and Savusavu. Ready to mix travel-size packets of kava are also available at duty free shops and larger supermarkets. There’s even ready to drink flavoured kava – a relaxation supplement shot – formulated with all natural ingredients produced by Fiji’s Taki Mai.
BU (Coconut water)
Savour the water or juice of the young coconut which is commonly called bu. Coconut water is the nutritious clear liquid inside the green coconut and is said to be packed with vitamins and minerals. Nothing beats quenching your thirst than bu juice straight from the nut. Then scoop out and eat the deliciously soft flesh.