• The Chopping Blog
subscribe

Filter Blog Posts

Blog Archives
Most Recent Posts

How to Make Sushi at Home

Just because I am a chef doesn’t mean that I am absolutely comfortable preparing every type of...Read more

The Power of Parmesan Cheese

Just recently in a class I was teaching at The Chopping Block, a question was asked about how to...Read more

Greek-Inspired Picnic Fare

What do you do when you discover a small patch of sandy beach on the shores of Lake Michigan that...Read more

Let's Call it Toad in a Hole for Brunch

Back in seventh grade home economics class, I learned a classic way to prepare eggs: dropped into a...Read more

Professional Chefs Make Mistakes Too

When I talk to home cooks, many share with me that they are afraid of trying things in the kitchen...Read more

Sign Up To Get

Bula, Fiji (Part 1)

Carrie
Posted by Carrie on May 11, 2012

In case any of you do not know, I LOVE my job! Not only do I love going to work every day, but to make it even better, in January 2011 I was voted Employee of the Year 2010 by my co-workers. The prize for this honor is a flight anywhere in the world you want to go, a week’s paid vacation and some spending cash. It only took me 11 months to decide where to go! Why not Fiji?

Fiji has a multi-ethnic population consisting mainly of Polynesian, Indian, Chinese, Melanesian and European descent. This makes for a wide variety of interesting and delicious cuisines. Seafood, beef, chicken and pork are the main proteins used, accompanied by coconut, cassava (yuca), yam, taro root, mango, pineapple, banana, guava and many different leaves and greens.

Researching this before going, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. My first meal upon arrival was Cajun spiced chicken, fried cassava, and a salad of fresh coconut pieces, carrot, cucumber and cabbage. Dessert was a homemade brioche cup, filled with sweet custard and topped with fresh fruit. For me, the fresh coconut was the star of the dish. Breakfast was amazing every day. The eggs were so fresh with yolks almost orange in color, and the unbelievably delicious fresh coconut crusted-banana stuffed French toast and sugar cane syrup. Yum! Not to mention the picturesque sunrise!

I am thankful to have spent 5 nights on the island of Vanua Levu, the second largest of the Fiji Islands. Vanua Levu is not as touristy as Viti Levu (the largest island) so I was able to delve into a bit of the true Fiji culture. The main exports of this island are coconut, sugar cane and cava. I might have to write a third blog just about coconut! I am still amazed by the sheer height of the coconut trees. Savusavu is the closest town to where I was staying. The town is known for its beautiful bay, copra (coconut) plantations, and natural hot springs where locals still cook their lunch using nothing other than a plastic shopping bag.

Watch for my blog next month to hear more about my Fiji adventures!

Topics: Fiji, coconut, pork, seafood, Chinese, mango, banana, yam, beef, pineapple, chicken, Indian, European, Melanesian