Between November 2008 and January 2009, I went on a RTW trip. The computer on which I had uploaded those photos went kaput soon after, but fortunately I had salvaged the hard drive. It was only two days ago that I resuscitated the drive, and started to look at photos that haven’t been viewed for seven years. However, the drive gave out one day ago, and doesn’t feel like functioning anymore. Back up your files in more than one place!
With that out of the way, food time. My last non-US stop of the RTW was the Pacific island of Fiji. It was a spontaneous idea, and at the time, the most interest I had in nature was ordering a salad.
I landed at night after a relatively short flight from Auckland. The food on Air Pacific (now called Fiji Airways) was mostly a tray of pastel-colored evil, so my peckish self ended up at some roadside BBQ in Nadi, home of the country’s main international gateway. What was on the menu?
The woman who was working the grill was way too liberal with the bbq sauce…and the starch. The boiled cassava kept me full for way too long, and the longaniza – the sausage – was wayyyyyyyy too sweet. Vinaka (thanks, in Fijian) for drowning the cabbage slaw, too. If this place had a menu, it would probably pose only one question: “what would you like your bbq sauce served with?”
In the latter half of the 19th century, thousands of Indians were brought over by the British to work in the sugarcane plantations. Thousands more came voluntarily early in the 20th century. The Indo-Fijian minority is the largest in Fiji, and as one might expect, Indian restaurants are quite common in the urban areas.
Not wanting to risk a stomach bug during my short stay in Fiji – who am I kidding? – I decided to try one of the local specialties, kokoda, at my hostel on the outskirts of Suva, the capital. Kokoda started off as a local version of ceviche, with walu (escolar) being marinated in lime juice and chilies. Eventually, coconut milk was added, and I suspect restaurant chairs had to be enlarged at the same time. This one was served with taro and collateral lettuce.
Good vegetarian thali with chapati, again courtesy of the Indo-Fijians.
Have you visited or do you have interest in visiting Fiji?