What to Eat in Fiji? 5 Foods You Have to Try
Fiji has incredible cuisine. Across the islands, several different cultures and backgrounds have influenced the flavors and methods used, but a constant aspect of Fijian cuisine is a reliance on locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Coconut, sweet potato and fresh-caught fish are a few examples.
At Raiwasa Private Resort, we incorporate these local ingredients into our experiential and incredible dining experience. Throughout your week, it’s possible to take a journey through Fiji’s flavors, but the menu is also influenced by your personal preferences and requests. If you are wondering what to eat in Fiji, look no further – here are 5 foods you must try on your Fiji vacation.
The most famous dish in Peru is a cold soup called ceviche. Although less known in other parts of the world, Fiji has its own mouthwatering version. And after a morning exploring Fiji’s humid jungles or salty seas, this is definitely the most refreshing option on the islands.
Kokoda, or Fijian ceviche, is a traditional food on many of the Fijian islands, and it all starts with freshly caught, local fish. The raw fish is marinated in lime and lemon juice, which “cooks” the fish. This is the same preparation process used for Peruvian ceviche, but after marinating the fish, kokoda has a very special ingredient – coconut.
Onion, chilies tomato, and cilantro round out the flavor profile on this not to miss Fijian dish.
Kava isn’t a food, but a beverage. Yet the rituals and traditions around this natural drink are significant in Fiji. In fact, there is an entire ceremony that accompanies drinking and sharing this very traditional beverage.
To begin, everyone participating in the kava ceremony sits in a circle. Once seated, certain people in the group will start to grind the kava root into a powder. It is then mixed with water and strained through a cloth. Once prepared, the first person to drink is the village’s chief. The other village elders and most important people are offered kava next. Then, the rest of the room is invited to share in the beverage.
While most visitors have a positive experience at a kava ceremony, it’s important to keep in mind that kava is a mild narcotic. The drink will probably cause tingling and numbness in your mouth, tongue, and throat. Afterwards, it’s common to feel relaxed and carefree, similar to waking up from a leisurely nap.
#3: Roti with Potato Curry
Roti is a simple recipe with a huge amount of potential when it comes to meals and flavor combinations. Made only of flour, water, and salt, roti was made popular in Fiji by the large Indian population that arrived well before European contact and British rule.
The three ingredients are combined and then rolled flat into unleavened bread that is often eaten with curry. The slightly salty roti is excellent when paired with a somewhat spicy curry. A favorite snack or lunch option in Fiji is roti with potato curry. This is the type of meal that is frequently made in Fijian homes and shared among the entire family. When you do find this delicious option on a restaurant menu, this is exactly what to eat in Fiji.
Tavioka isn’t commonly known outside Fiji, but you may have actually eaten this root vegetable before. That’s because tavioka is best known by its other name, cassava. Cassava is a woody shrub found throughout South America and certain places in the South Pacific. But cassava isn’t native to Fiji. It was introduced to the islands by some of the early Europeans to reach Fiji.
Today, tavioka is one of the most popular sources of carbohydrates for local Fijians. Recently, tavioka surpassed toro, yams, and sweet potatoes as the most produced crop in the country. As a dietary staple, tavioka is used in a variety of recipes and is prepared different ways. We recommend trying a cassava or tavioka cake.
Tradition is important in Fiji, and traditions around food and beverage are particularly meaningful in local, Fijian villages. Few meals make the connection between Fiji’s culture and food more apparent than lovo.
The lovo isn’t a single dish or food, but rather a style of cooking. It means to cook in the ground, and is similar in method to the New Zealand hangi. Fijians start by simply digging a hole. Then, rocks are heated, once hot enough these are placed at the bottom of the hole. Of course, in the settings where travelers are likely to experience lovo, these holes are already dug and prepped for cooking.
The foods traditionally cooked in the lovo are poultry, fish, and pork. Sometimes marinated or flavored, these ingredients are wrapped in banana leaves and placed into the lovo to cook. Other root vegetables and starches, such as yams, toro, and cassava are cooked on top of the proteins. The hole is covered up with earth and left to cook for two or three hours.
Sharing a lovo meal is special in Fiji, and for locals, it’s a meal reserved for special meals and ceremonies, such as weddings or religious celebrations. The opportunity to experience lovo is unique to Fiji.
Eating at Raiwasa Private Resort
Our executive chef at Raiwasa Private Resort, Richie, is a culinary wizard. His gourmet meals do more than nourish your body, it’s an experience for your mind and soul. Many of Richie’s exquisite five-course meals are influenced by Fiji’s traditional foods, and during your stay at Raiwasa, you’ll find new appreciation for local cuisine and the possibilities of Fijian flavors. Stay, dine, and experience with our team at Raiwasa.