Although I was in Fiji for work in 2017, a few years prior I visited the tropical Pacific spot solo, en route back to the states. Having plenty of time but zero clue about Fijian cuisine, I was looking forward to sampling a few local dishes.
Starting in Nadi, where the primary international airport is located, I found some street food in the form of barbecue. Pictured above, we have boiled cassava, and longaniza, a pork-based sausage in the chorizo family. The cassava – a tropical starch – was very filling. Vinaka (thanks, in Fijian) for drowning the cabbage slaw, too.
In the latter half of the 19th century, thousands of Indians were brought over by the British to work in the sugarcane plantations. Thousands more came voluntarily early in the 20th century. The Indo-Fijian minority is the largest in Fiji as one might expect, Indian restaurants are quite common in the urban areas.
At my rainforest hostel on the outskirts of Suva, the Fijian capital, I decided to try one of the local specialties, kokoda. Kokoda started off as a local version of ceviche, with walu fish (escolar) being marinated in lime juice and chilies. Eventually, coconut milk was added to the dressing, as was fried taro to serve as an accompaniment. One bite and I was instahooked.
You were waiting to see that water bottle, weren’t you?
Here we have a thali, the Hindi word for “plate,” which generally consists of a grain (in this case, the wheat flour chapati), lentils, vegetables, and pickles (achar), among other edible goodies.
Have you visited or do you have interest in visiting Fiji?