Pasifika is a treat for the taste buds, whether you already know and love traditional Pacific Island foods, or you’re new to the wonderful flavours and dishes on offer.
Get a taste of the Pacific – there are more than 150 traditional, authentic dishes to choose from and they are all reasonably priced, with an average of around $7. Not only is the food delicious, but it also reflects the history and culture of the Pacific Islands. Since 2013 the festival has moved to a fully authentic village menu so you will only sample the best.
The arrival of Indians in Fiji has created a fusion of food – including curry chicken and roti. There is a strong New Zealand influence in the recipes of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands, such as mutton flaps, which are mixed with national dishes. In Samoa you’d expect to see mutton flaps baked in taro leaves and coconut cream.
Key ingredients in Pacific Island cooking do vary between nations, but include coconut, fish, taro, banana, chicken and pork, which feature in many dishes at the festival.
Keep an eye out for these specialties:
- Cook Islands Poke is a divine tasting dessert made up of ripe banana, starch (pia) and coconut cream
- Fiji Lovo is a range of fish, meat and vegetables cooked in the ground for several hours
- Niue Fai kai – fish baked with coconut cream
- Aotearoa Kai mikimiki, boil-up and hangi-cooked food
- Hawai'i - Hawaiian kalo (taro) skillfully pounded and mixed with water into a smooth consistency
- Kiribati Fish dried in the sun and served with taro
- Samoa Palusami, taro leaves baked in coconut cream
- Tahiti Tasty chestnuts eaten fresh or cooked in a variety of ways
- Tuvalu Tolo talo, a mashed baked taro in coconut cream and served with fish
- Tonga Tunu puaka – a whole pig roasted on a spit
- Tokelau Sua ika – fish boiled in coconut cream
Make sure to pop by the umu in the Samoa village, the hangi in Aotearoa or lovo in Fiji to see – and taste – underground cooking at its best.