One of the best ways to discover a new place is through the food, and the cuisine in Fiji doesn’t disappoint. Many people don’t arrive in the archipelago with high expectations for the cuisine, but quickly find that Fijian cuisine is a highlight of traveling these islands. Mostly comprised of ingredients found on the islands and a mixture of many cultures, there is a balance to Fijian cuisine that isn’t found in other island destinations.
Plus, not only are some of Fiji’s traditional dishes incredibly delicious and healthy, there is something for all taste buds and preferences. Savory, sweet, spicy, and simple are all aspects of the foods traditionally eaten in Fiji. When you explore Fiji, you’ll fall in love with the flavorful combinations and interesting foods available here.
Traditional Dishes from Various Cultures
To truly understand Fijian cuisine, you must understand Fiji’s history, as people from not one or two cultures populate this island nation, but peoples of many backgrounds and places. The majority of native people in Fiji are of Melanesian descent. Today, these are the people most frequently referred to as “Fijian,” but people from other places have lived on the islands for hundreds of years. The Fiji of today is a conglomerate of Indians, Pacific Islanders, Europeans, Melanesians, and Rotumans.
The food of Fiji is similarly derived from all these backgrounds and even incorporates influences from China, France, Japan, and other European countries. The combination of these different places leads to a fascinating journey for the taste buds. You can explore flavors such as cassava, sweet potato, fresh fish, such as mahi-mahi, and coconut cream. Sourced locally, these various ingredients are mixed and matched in different combinations of flavor options, you won’t forget.
Also, be certain to seek out Indo-Fijian foods while in the archipelago. From samosas to curries, the Indian dishes available in Fiji have a distinct flavor that is unlike what you find anywhere else in the world.
Fiji’s Extensive Use of Coconut
As you explore Fiji, one thing is certain – you will eat and drink your fair share of coconut milk. Coconut is utilized for hydration, refreshment, and is the first ingredient in a substantial number of Fiji dishes. And whether you are sipping on a young coconut, recently retrieved from a nearby tree, or sampling Fiji’s famous duruka (also called Fijian asparagus), prepared in coconut milk, it’s certain to be delicious.
Fiji’s Vegetarian Food Options
There can be some trepidation for vegetarians traveling to a country for the first time. The common questions are whether non-meat options are easily available and whether these foods are delicious. The answer when considering a trip to Fiji is that from an abundance of fruits and raw vegetables, there are plenty of prepared dishes that feature Fiji’s best vegetarian ingredients.
One amazing dish that is prepared sans meat is kokoda. This is a favorite food throughout Fiji, and most frequently made with fish, but can be entirely vegetarian, as well. This cold soup is similar to the famous Peruvian dish of ceviche, and the vegetarian version is outstanding on several different islands. The base of kokoda is, of course, coconut milk and to this simple starting point a mixture of onions, carrots, celery, and other vegetables. Despite some of the similarities to curries, the lack of spices makes the resulting soup closer to a clear broth.
As you explore Fiji, another vegetarian dish to try is taro cooked in a lovo. A lovo is, interestingly, an underground oven, and the fascinating process of cooking anything from pork, fish, or taro in the lovos are found all over Fiji. Each serving is separately wrapped in a banana leaf, which prevents any contamination between meat options and the pescatarian or vegetarian alternatives.
Fiji’s most famous food is actually a beverage. Kava is the central element of a traditional Fijian kava ceremony, and for many visitors having a taste of this root concoction is a necessary experience. Derived simply from water and the powdered root of the yagona plant, kava is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, providing the opportunity for all visitors to have a taste.
Dining at Raiwasa
At Raiwasa, we take food seriously. While many large hotels and all-inclusive resorts restrict their guests to mediocre cooking or a buffet, Raiwasa Private Resort is proud to employ two outstanding chefs. The sole responsibility of these staff members is to keep your stomach satisfied during your stay, and the dishes prepared in our kitchen are nothing short of incredible. We promise that dinner in our six separate dining locations will be some of your most memorable moments at Raiwasa. Discover the flavors of Fiji when you stay at Raiwasa.