One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
Fiji is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 kilometres northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. With calm turquoise water and an abundance of blissful white beaches, this picture perfect island nation has become a prime destination spot for destination weddings and anyone seeking that once in a lifetime getaway – the one you always see in glossy travel magazines but hardly dare to dream of.
The country was first inhabited in the second millennium B.C., and its inhabitants have been eating well ever since. Thanks to the islands’ ferociously fertile soil and the surrounding water’s limitless bounty of fish, islanders have been eating a wholesome, healthy locavore diet since long before the word locavore had been coined and promoted as the solution to our increasingly bleak food future.
The islander diet consisted solely of food from the sea, root vegetables and coconut until the 17th and 18th centuries, when the Dutch and the British began exploring Fiji. The five-star dining establishments popping up all over Yaqueta Island Fiji and the more populated islands are a far cry from the days of casual island cannibalism when ‘Eat me!’ was a appropriate greeting from a commoner to a chief.
A surprising perk of cannibalism, the ferocity of the Fijian warriors’ fighting style deterred European explorers from steering too close to these waters for hundreds of years after the outset of colonization. As a direct result, many of the islands are unpopulated — even today amidst the clamor for Fiji weddings — and the islands still boast an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources.
Today, Fijian society has evolved with the introduction and inclusion of foodie traditions from India and China, but you can still ensure a wide variety of fresh local ingredients and traditional dishes at the Yasawa Islands Resort on Yaqeta Island, Fiji. Opting for the catch of the day rather than imported red meats means that locals are forgoing the high saturated fat and cholesterol content found in beef and pork, as well as emitting significantly lower levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Plus there is nothing more satisfying than choosing the fish you’ll eat for lunch out of an icy chest – all the while with the knowledge that it was caught fresh just hours earlier.
Yaqeta Island Delicacies
Vegetables like taro, yams and cassava are abundant across Yaqeta Island Fiji and all of the other 330+ islands. Paulsami, for example, consists of baked taro leaves that have been marinated in lemon juice and coconut milk, often with some meat or fish filling and a bit of onion or garlic. Many traditional Fijian dishes are cooked in coconut milk, which is rich in heart-healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose-free, so it can be used as a delicious milk substitute for people who are lactose intolerant.
Other local delicacies include fresh tropical fruits like bananas and the more adventurous breadfruit that can be found at any farmer’s market when they’re in season. Finishing off a meal with a fruit-based dessert rather than something baked and chocolate-y can have an enormous impact on your daily nutrition while still satisfying your sweet tooth. Make sure you try Vutu, a local variety of nut mainly grown on the island of Beqa. They are also available in Suva and other towns during the early months of January and February. A healthy alternative to meat, nuts are chock full of protein, fibre and essential fats.
Rounding out all the best Fiji getaways: our favorite foodie experience is the ability at any time to stick a straw in a coconut to slurp up the juices. To take your tropical holiday to the next level, request a chilled coconut to take with you to the water’s edge as the sun begins to drop below the horizon. We guarantee once you’re back home and reminiscing about your stint in paradise, the image of those coconuts will stay with you long after your tan lines.
Navutu Dreams Resort
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