Although known primarily for its stunning beaches, turquoise waters and rich cultural heritage, Fiji also boasts a unique cuisine – a delightful blend of flavours influenced by the indigenous Fijian, Indian, Chinese, and European communities. On a trip to Fiji, you can expect to experience a culinary journey that is as diverse as the islands themselves, says Charlotte Winter. 

An index of must-try traditional dishes 

Kokoda: Often referred to as Fiji’s version of ceviche, Kokoda is a refreshing dish made from raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and mixed with coconut cream, onions, tomatoes, and chillies. It is typically served chilled in a coconut shell, offering a perfect blend of tangy and creamy flavours. Many resorts offer cooking classes where you can learn to make Kokoda, allowing you to take the flavours of Fiji home! 

Lovo: A traditional Fijian feast, the lovo is a method of cooking where food is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an earth oven. Commonly included are marinated meats, root vegetables like taro and cassava, and palusami (taro leaves with coconut cream). The slow-cooking process imparts a unique smoky flavour to the food. 

Fijian Roti: Influenced by the Indian community, Fijian Roti is a staple that is often served with curries. These flatbreads are made from wheat flour and are a perfect accompaniment to the various spicy and savoury dishes. 

When sustainability meets luxury resorts 

During my recent trip to Fiji, I was particularly impressed by many of the resort’s efforts in terms of sourcing produce locally or – where possible – growing it themselves. 

COMO Laucala Island is a prime example of a resort that embodies the essence of sustainable luxury. This private island resort grows nearly all its food on-site, ensuring the freshest ingredients for its guests. Laucala Island boasts extensive organic farms, where a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs are cultivated. The resort employs traditional farming methods alongside modern sustainable practices to ensure that their produce is of the highest quality. This includes using organic fertilisers and natural pest control methods, which help maintain the ecological balance and promote biodiversity on the island. 

 

The island’s farms grow a wide range of produce, from common staples like tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers to exotic fruits such as papayas, bananas, and pineapples. The tropical climate of Fiji provides an ideal environment for growing these crops year-round, ensuring a constant supply of fresh ingredients for the resort’s kitchens. The island’s livestock, including poultry (‘Duckingham Palace’ is worth a visit), pigs and cattle, are also raised on-site, providing a source of fresh meat and eggs. 

This commitment to self-sufficiency not only enhances the dining experience but also supports the local ecosystem. Guests at COMO Laucala can indulge in the most incredible dishes made from freshly caught seafood, organically grown produce and artisanal products crafted on the island. There is also the opportunity to tour the farms and learn about the sustainable practices employed. 

During my research trip, other foodie highlights included Kokomo Island Resort, whose commitment to sustainable food production was truly impressive. The resort sources much of its produce from its extensive organic gardens and hydroponic farms, ensuring that the food is fresh and environmentally friendly. In addition, Tokoriki Island Resort delighted my palate with its gourmet offerings, where the chefs skilfully crafted dishes using locally sourced ingredients. The flavours were vibrant and diverse, reflecting Fiji’s rich culinary heritage while incorporating contemporary techniques. 

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Charlotte Winter
Venetia Cox
Auriole Potter

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