Some Local Foods – Taste and See

So if your ever in the small pacific country of Tuvalu and you get a chance to experience local foods this is what your may have. Below is a buffet sample, this was in court just after a wedding vow between a couple, they broke out some food and had lunch immediately after.  bread, cake, eggs, salad, and local black birds bottom left are a few of the things on the menu here.

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Here I am with my wife and am munching on what they call a Pandunus fruit.  Its like a huge pine cone with the individual fibrous pods filled with very sweet juice that you kind of chew / suck out of it.  Also wearing traditional handmade garland.

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Pandunus Fruit.

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My wife with a big delicious coconut crab.  Very good flavor to the meat and is a delicacy in many countries.

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This is Breadfruit, extremely versatile fruit.  Can be boiled and has a squash / pumpkin like  taste,  can be deep fried to make breadfruit chips which hare similar to plantain chips, and can be baked and tastes somewhat like a potato.  And if you let if ripen it has a passion fruit sweet musky quality to it.

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So before we left the island Uncle Vaguna wanted to make me a feast, He is a Seventh Day Adventist so he doesn’t have pigs like many of the other islanders, but he has chickens and ducks. So he made me a duck feast.  In pic below you can see counter clockwise Roast Duck, Juice in bucket, Raw Tuna Fish with cucumbers and onions and mayo and salt, Cucumbers,  Rice, Duck Sauce, local Papaya’s, Baked Breadfruit, and Fried Breadfruit chips center. This on top of the spread Banana leaves.  It was for me they said, so they wouldn’t eat at all until  I was completely finished.

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Food at a wedding,  Raw fish, Rice, Cake, Local Fried Donuts. Pork, Chicken, and Fish.

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This is Pulaka, its like a super big tough Tarro root. They grow these in special plots and it is a staple mainstay food, especially before modern food like eggs and rice and flour began to be imported.  In olden days Fish, Pulaka, and Coconuts and Pork were the core food survival items.

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And don’t forget about the Fish, If a skilled fisherman is in the family will have this quite often.

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Bananas, Lots of these, some were plantain like very starchy and there was another variety smaller and very sweet.  They mulched the banana trees with leaves and scraps from the yard and also planted them right behind the pig pens, the refuse from the pig pens made the banana trees grow very nicely.

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Every family had at least a couple pigs, some had more than that.  They would butcher them for special occasions. Weddings, Funerals, Birthdays, Farewells, etc

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When they would butcher the pigs they would start a fire with coconut cook them in a pit.

 

 

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And lets not forget about the coconut, So many uses, they used the nut and the juice to make many dozens of types of foods and combinations.

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Here squeezing coconut milk out of a grated coconut meat.

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The people in the pacific have survived for many thousands of years by using sustainable local food in many unique and creative ways.

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