Guest blogger Isabelle Darcy has a college degree in political science and loves to travel anywhere and everywhere. She has embarked on two around-the-world trips and is currently saving up for a third. She writes about travel experiences for AirTreks, a company that specializes in great deals on around the world tickets.
While stopping in Samoa on an around the world trip, I came to love Samoan food (well not all of it). The food is way different than anything I have ever tried before, and usually incorporates breadfruit, taro, taro leaves, cooked bananas and raw fish. Everything is lightly seasoned to let the flavors inherent in the foods themselves really stand out.
Traditional Samoan food stands out as different from the everyday Samoan diet. Following traditional recipes, most of the food below is meticulously planned and prepared for celebrations and enjoyed to the fullest. I really delight in the following ten foods, and I hope you give them a try!
1. Lu'au or Palusami Lu'au is a famous Samoan dish that tastes so good, it is truly divine. They take the leaves of the taro plant (similar to a potato that is a staple of the Samoan diet) and the taro root with coconut cream (along with onions occasionally) and wrap everything up in the leaves. The best results will result if the Lu'au is cooked in an umu (the traditional whole in the ground oven that uses embers and hot stones to cook things wrapped in banana fronds or taro leaves). The bundle of unique flavors and delicious starches can now be unwrapped and enjoyed.
2. Taro root seasoned and baked in the oven like baked fries would be. I love these with salt and "tomato sauce" something like ketchup, but better and more spicy.
3. Oka I'a is a delicious raw fish (usually tuna) that is cut into pieces with onions and marinated in coconut cream, lemon juice and salt. I love to pair this fish salad with Vailima beer. This drink is brewed in Samoa and is one of the best that comes from the region.
4. Green Bananas cooked in an Umu and dipped in coconut cream. Did you know that cooking the bananas while they are still green makes for a delicious savory flavor? Well it does, and it is one of the best things I have ever eaten!
5. Fausi is a dessert made out of taro and served with a coconut cream sauce that has been caramelized making this my favorite sweet treat in Samoa.
6. Fresh papaya squeezed with lime is a close second for sweet treats, with its sweet but citrusy flavor. This is a must have while visiting Samoa; I usually have it for breakfast when I visit.
7. Taisi Moa is a chicken baked in banana fronds. Wash it down with the traditional Samoan drink Kava.
8. Faiai Fee might be only for the adventurous folk. This octopus in coconut cream and served in half coconut shells might just be an acquired taste, but it is well worth trying out. I love it!
9. Lupe Tunuvilivili is also a tasty treat for dinner. It is grilled wild pigeon.
10. Supasui is another favorite of mine. This dish represents the many cultures that live together in Samoa. It is Samoa's take on the American and Chinese dish chop suey. This dish contains chunks of beef (imported and usually canned) along with vermicelli pasta and flavors of ginger, garlic, onions and soy sauce.
Samoan people are very friendly and hospitable, with food being the focus of social events and celebrations. If you are lucky enough to be invited to a village party and take part in the cooking and eating of traditional foods, you are in for a real treat. I strongly encourage everyone to check out this beautiful island at least once in their lifetime.
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