Vanuatuan cuisine

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The cuisine of Vanuatu (known in Bislama as aelan kakae) incorporates fish, root vegetables such as taro and yams, fruits, and vegetables.[1] Most island families grow food in their gardens, and food shortages are rare.[1] Papayas, pineapples, mangoes, plantains, and sweet potatoes are abundant through much of the year.[1] Coconut milk and cream are used to flavor many dishes.[1] Most food is cooked using hot stones or through boiling and steaming; little food is fried.[1] Since Vanuatu is one of the few South Pacific regions influenced by the outside world, Vanuatu's food has a multicultural nature.[2]

Core ingredients[edit]

Vanuatu foods have several core ingredients used such as yam, taro, banana, coconut, sugarcane, tropical nuts, pigs, greens, fowls and seafood. Native people in Vanuatu usually grow most of their food except luxury foods such as rice or tinned fish.[citation needed]

Traditional drink[edit]

Kava, a traditional non-alcoholic drink, is extremely popular in Vanuatu. A once-prestigious beverage brewed from Piper methysticum, it is commonly drunk at dusk, before dinner, mostly by men but increasingly by women. While it has mild narcotic and relaxing effects on the individual, it is mostly appreciated for the relaxed social atmosphere it is traditionally associated with, both in urban and rural areas, in the context of the nakamal.

Traditional foods[edit]

Laplap sosor, a variant of the national dish from Malekula island.

The national dish of Vanuatu is lap lap.[3] Lap lap is a baked pudding. It is made up of grated yam, banana, manioc, or taro that is mixed with coconut milk and salt, then baked under hot stones. [4]

Another popular dish is simboro. Simboro resembles the Greek dish dolmades. It is a steamed roll of grated banana, manioc, yam, taro, or flour that is wrapped in banana leaves and covered in coconut milk. [5]

Flying foxes are also captured, kept in cages, and eaten as a stew [6]

Coconut crab is one of the unique foods of Vanuatu. However, many restaurants in Vanuatu have stopped serving this dish as the crab is at risk of becoming an extinct species.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e The Peace Corps Welcomes You to Vanuatu Archived 2008-09-10 at the Wayback Machine. Peace Corps (May 2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Vanuatu Story[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Correspondents Report - The secrets of Vanuatu's national dish, the Lap Lap".
  4. ^ "Vanuatu".
  5. ^ "Taro" (PDF). 2017. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  6. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]