Wataweih (hello) and welcome to our next country. Norfold Island, a small Australian Island found in the East of Australia, is where we are stopping today! The island is an external territory of Australia and is about 5 miles long by 3 miles wide. This community has its own language which is a mix of Tahitian and 18th century English. An interesting fact here is that cows have the right of way!
This island goes by the mantra “catch and cook.” Fishing is referred to as “catching” and the catching is plentiful. Cuisine here is made up not only of local seafood, but beef, pork, seasonal vegetables. Like its’ language, the cuisine also is a blend of Tahitian and 18th century English cooking. There is great pride with using local and fresh ingredients.
Corn Pilhi is the recipe we made for Norfolk Island. There wasn’t too many recipes out there for the tiny nation that I could find. Pilhis seem to be a common type meal with simple ingredients consisting of mashed produce, a grain, and a liquid. The corn pilhi recipe I found had cheese, shredded sweet potato (known as kumara here), polenta, milk, and caraway seeds. You can find the recipe here.
Thinking of the island and its resources I paired the pilhi with breaded coconut fish. Cooking was a breeze. I used my Kitchen aid and the grating attachment to shred the sweet potato and cheese- dodged that arm workout! 🙈
This was another unique dish! The caraway, sweet potato, and cheese was unlike anything else we have ever had. The sweetness of the potato comes through but the texture was nothing noteworthy. The fish was a good addition to the plate. We rated this one 6.5/10
Welcome back! Today we head even more west to the Solomon Islands! This sovereign country is made up of 900 smaller and 6 major islands east of Australia and close to Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. The islands were first inhabited 3,000 years ago by the Lapita people, a group of prehistoric Austronesian people. Due to its location in the Coral Triangle the country is known for incredible diving experiences. Between three of the countries larger islands lies the world’s largest salt water lagoon, Marovo Lagoon. Below the surface Vangunu Island has the most active submarine volcano. The economy here is mostly made up of agricultural, fishery, and forestry resources.
Cuisine of the island like many others is made up of native plants, fish, and game. Fish is the most abundant resource and is prepared in a variety of ways. Coconut, cassava, sweet potato, plantains, bananas, rice, and taro roots are also very commonly used. Influence is made up of Indian, Asian, and Spanish along with Polynesian. Today’s dish combines a lot of the ingredients mentioned above and is an example of what a meal may consist of if your were to visit the island. The recipe of this dish can be found here.
I don’t known about you, but I have never had papaya before and neither has Ian. I thought the flesh was very similar to cantaloupe however the seeds were very unique and unexpected. I almost had my stove top maxed out while preparing the dish but overall it wasn’t too challenging and used simple and known cooking methods.
This dish was another unique one. We had never had papaya before and thought it would have been sweeter. Overall it was kind of bland, but it was colorful and had a good variety of ingredients. I would recommend playing around with Asian or Indian spices to jazz it up. The dish was rated 6.5/10 between the two of us.
Welcome back! Today we are in the tropical Vanuatu, a country made up of 83 islands in the South Pacific Ocean near Australia. Bungee jumping was first done here when brave boys and men would jump from 20-30m (60-90ft) with vines tied to their ankles off wooden towers as part of a ritual called Nanggol. I think I’ll pass on that one!
The Vanuatuan cuisine consists main ingredients such as mangos, bananas, taro, yam, coconut, and seafood. You can find chickens and pigs used as a meat source, however seafood is primarily used. With that being said today’s dish screams Vanuatu!
I ended up finding a wonderful recipe that consisted of seasoned shrimp on top of a shredded spinach which sits in a sweet potato and coconut soup, yum yum!
Their national dish lap lap did not seem possible for me to attempt which is the product of pounded taro root paste which is layered with cabbage and meat wrapped in a banana leaf.. something tells me this would only taste good if eating it local.
All in all we appreciated the sweetness from the coconut and sweet potato and slight kick of chili powder (did not have cayenne). The shrimp was seasoned perfectly and had a bit of a crunch to it. The additional of spinach brought a freshness to the dish. We ended up rating it 7.25/10!