Menu: Tuvalu

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Ever wonder how an island nation forms? There's an old Tuvaluan legend  that claims the first inhabitants of Tuvalu were ladies named Pai and Vau. Pai and Vau held baskets of sand. The grains that fell out of those baskets are said to have formed the neighboring atolls (the tiny coral reef islands we learned about yesterday). I love this image. It really goes to show how a little carelessness - something as small as a slip of a basket - can have far-reaching effects. Of course, all this … [Read more...]

About the food of Tuvalu

Funafuti in Tuvalu looking south. Photo by David Arfon Jones.

This week we're scooting out into the Pacific, all the way to Tuvalu - a country which is as much fun to eat as it is to say. I wasn't convinced I'd find much info on these water-lapped islands, especially considering Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world - behind Monaco, Nauru (also in the Pacific), and the Vatican City. It is made up of just three reef islands and six atolls. An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef like these: There's generally a lagoon inside. Not a … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Tonga

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 httpv://youtu.be/oTeXNUsLyZI My family almost didn't get to try the Sweet Potatoes this week. Twice I screwed up the caramel. Once, Ava was too tired to eat. When she was better rested, I was out of sweet potatoes. It was a comedy of errors. Except I wasn't laughing, To blow off some steam, Ava and I decided to wash the car. We got on our bathing suits and began to scrub. Dust and bird gunk (and so much more) gradually peeled off the car. As the car cleaned up, something curious … [Read more...]

Recipe: Coconut Watermelon Refresher | ‘Otai

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Sun. Sweat. Waves. If lemonade is the go-to poolside drink in the United States, 'Otai is the go-to ocean-side drink of Tonga. Our recipe for 'Otai takes us way out into the southwest Pacific, where the tropical days lull a person into putting away their smartphone. Can you imagine? Oh, please, someone take my cellphone from me!! My heart is there already. I promise you won't need your phone to enjoy this drink. What you do need? A watermelon, a can of coconut milk, and some … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sweet Potatoes in Coconut Caramel Sauce

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I love necklaces. The bright stones add a splash of color and fun to my generally plain-Jane outfits. Seeing as I don't general have time to put on makeup, necklaces are the one and only way to brighten up my look. To make it look like I tried. Well, today, we're getting a taste of how the islanders in Tonga dress up dinner. In short? Sweet potatoes meet coconut caramel sauce - a vivid display of orange, white, and golden brown. Sweet potatoes and coconut grow easily in the Pacific, … [Read more...]

Menu: Tonga

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Apparently the fine people of Tonga have quite the sweet tooth. Whether it's the coconut caramel sauce (which they put on everything from boiled taro to dumplings), or the watermelon chiller, Tonga serves up sweetness in all they do. I for one can appreciate the natural sweetness, especially in the drink. Try the sweet potatoes as a snack or on the side of grilled meats. The drink is great any time of day, but is a perfect alternative to punch or lemonade at your next gathering.  Oh, and, yay … [Read more...]

About the food of Tonga

Royal Sunset Island Resort at 'Atata Island, 30 min boat ride from Tongatapu. Photo by Haanofonua.

If you'd like to make some friends, you might want to head over to the "Friendly Islands," a.k.a. Tonga. There are 170 of these islands to choose from, all dotted through the Southwest Pacific, in Oceania. They got their nickname because they were so kind to Captain Cook when he came there to visit in 1773. Even with all these islands, the CIA World Factbook claims its total area is just four times that of Washington D.C. In this scattered tropical country, vanilla, banana, coconut, … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Solomon Islands

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httpv://youtu.be/wcHnIG-CdOw Ava's been saying something disturbing lately. If a toy breaks, she says "let's buy a new one." If fruit sits too long in the basket and gets mushy, she says "let's go to the grocery store." She says these things, even with a father who shows her how to build and repair her toys in the garage ... Even with a mother who teaches her how to make apple pies with bruised apples. Maybe she says it less than some children, but I'm still concerned, and I'm at a loss with … [Read more...]