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Samoa

National cuisine of Samoa for gourmets. Authentic recipes, delicacies and specialties

Even though the traditional ingredients in the cuisine of Samoa are different from the products used in Europe, the taste of Samoan dishes is easier to understand for people residing in Central and North Eurasia. Perhaps this happens because Samoan cuisine doesn’t have exotic combinations of numerous spices and other ingredients, and so tourists can always order the food that tastes familiar. Local fruit and vegetables are grown without any chemical fertilizers. Tourists can be sure that they consume organic food that is clean and healthy. Coconuts (ripe and not), cocoa beans, sweet potato, bananas, breadfruit, and taro are some of the major ingredients here.
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By the way, Samoans add coconut milk to almost all dishes. Besides that, the ordinary potato that many Europeans and Americans are used to is not widely spread in Samoa. Locals eat two other vegetables instead. Taro has eatable roots just like a potato. Plantain is another popular vegetable. Local people prefer cooking banana to the typical yellow and sweet banana available in most supermarkets.
Palusami is a dish containing coconut milk and taro leaves. Taro leaves are form something like glass that is filled with coconut milk, onion, and salt. The top leaves are bent in a way so that the milk stays inside. The ready to cook dish looks like a ball that is wrapped in banana and breadfruit tree leaves (they replace aluminum foil for baking). This coconut-sized sphere is then put on hot stones, covered with palm tree leaves, and cooked for about one hour. Coconut milk becomes creamy in taro leaves. Palusami is a healthy and really delicious dish. As a rule, locals cook it in umu – the traditional Samoan above the ground oven with hot volcanic stones. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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Cooking food slowly under a thick layer of leaves is a method suitable for various products like vegetables, meat, and seafood (fish, shellfish). Locals cook many delicious dishes in umu, such as poaa-tunuvilivili (roasted pork), taisi moa (chicken baked in banana leaves), and moa tunupau (chicken grilled on coals). Umu is hot enough to bake even a whole suckling pig. When it comes to sauces, local cuisine has many variations with coconut milk besides the usual soy sauce. These are pepe sauce with onion, fa'alifu with green banana, and miti with onion and lemon. Travelers interested in local specialties cannot miss trying oka – marinated raw fish. Slim slices of freshly caught fish are marinated in lemon juice and coconut milk. Other ingredients like onion, lime, and tomatoes can differ depending on the chef’s preferences. As a rule, raw fish is used in oka (also known as oka i’a). There are variations with baked fish but they are significantly less common.
Here are the most popular local soups: supo esi (papaya in coconut milk), sua arasa (rice soup), and sua i’a (fish soup). The list of traditional desserts would be incomplete without koko arasa (cocoa and rice), fausi (pumpkin baked in coconut milk), fa’ausi (coconut bread in caramel), keke fa’i (banana cake), poi (banana pudding), and poi mago (mango pudding). Such pastries as paifala (sweet pies with pineapple mash) and panipopo (coconut breads) are also very popular. Breadfruit is widely used on the islands. The breadfruit tree is somewhat reminiscent of an oak. It has large and thick leaves, and its ripe fruit are up to 30 cm in diameter, weighing several kilograms. This fruit is great for pastries and desserts.
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A pepper plant called Kava or Kava Kava grows in Oceania. Its root is used to make a drink that is famous as Ava. There is a ceremony of drinking Ava, and this is an important ritual in Samoa. The Kava root has a calming and relaxing effect. Noni drink is also very interesting. In Samoa, noni is used for its painkilling properties (for example, for teeth emerging in kids or noni leaves can be applied to the head to relieve the headache). Noni juice has one more important property – it helps to remove hangover effects.
Nui is one of the most popular energizing drinks in Samoa. It is also one of the easiest to make if we don’t take into consideration the need to get and cut underripe coconuts – nui is, actually, the juice extracted from underripe coconuts. Strong cocoa is also very popular. This drink is particularly rejuvenating on hot days. Kapuasu beverages are manufactured in Samoa. There is even a beer brewery on the islands, and the Vailima beer is the most widespread. However, European tourists are quite neutral about it. Strong spirits are almost exclusively imported.
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As it was mentioned above, for many tourists from Europe and North America, Samoan food tastes more familiar than many exotic Asian dishes even though Europe and Asia are located on the same continent and Samoa is a distant country in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean. Despite the exotic island location, it is easy to find typical fast food in Apia. Visit a local supermarket to find freshly squeezed juice, coffee, and fresh pastries with coconut filling. If you are not interested in the national cuisine of Samoa, you can always go to the closest big shop and buy grilled chicken, tomatoes, and bread, and enjoy a meal in your hotel room. This is a fast, simple, and usual snack that is almost equivalent to the food that you can find in European countries.
Samoa guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Country maps Maps of Samoa
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Car rental in Samoa

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The dining options deserve a separate mention. The Botanica Kitchen Bar & Lounge has 80% of its menu dedicated to vegetable dishes. It mostly uses fresh local ingredients. Grilled vegetable platters cooked in a Josper charcoal oven are among the signature dishes of the Botanica Kitchen. Ultramarijn Wonderbar serves breakfast in the morning and delicious and authentic food in the evening. Don’t forget to try interesting cocktails inspired by Dutch Sea explorations. The new hotel on the Kneuterdijk is a worthy addition to The Hague, a famous travel destination and home to many international organizations. Read this

27.07.2021

Sights of Samoa - photostream

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