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!