Cayenne, Chilli, chipotle sauce, Coconut, Coconut milk, Corned Beef, Corriander, cream, Eggs, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon, meringue, Mussels, Pork, Rice, Salt, Spinach, Sugar, Sweet Potato, Worcestershire sauce
7,489 miles West to the Pacific Ocean we travel from Nepal to Samoa. Somewhere again that we really want to visit, but alas we haven’t and so far no plans to do so. However, it can be added to the bucket list….
Saturday also saw us having an evening with our best friends and they had been warned we would spin the globe. I honestly didn’t think it would have been as difficult as it was to find suitable dinner party food from Samoa, but it did prove a little hard. Our friend didn’t eat bananas and they eat a lot of bananas with all different courses it transpires, but I believe we have found something tasty…
Formally Western Samoa, Samoa is a Sovereign State in Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean. Independence from New Zealand was in 1962. The two main islands are Upolu and Savai’i, which is the biggest Island in Polynesia. The capital is Apia and is on the Island of Upolu. In 1976 Samoa was accepted into the United Nations (UN). Before the 20th century the entire Island Group was called “Navigator Islands” a name given to them by European explorers because of the Samoans’ seafaring skills. Samoa is a very interesting country to research and more history info can be found here.
The traditional culture of Samoa is based on Fa’a Samoa, and is a communal way of life. In Samoan culture, lots and most activities are done together and Faith, Family and Music are the three main parts of Samoan culture. The Samoan people have lived off the land for hundreds of years, chiefly as hunters, gatherers, farmers, and fishers. This lifestyle remains somewhat true even today as the people are at least moderately reliant on the land and seas. However, more important to the people in the past and today are community and family as many people live in rural areas where most people know each other.
Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific, home to some of the smiliest people in the world. Samoan people love to joke around, sing, dance and are serious about three things in life: God, family and food.
Sundays are conventionally a day of rest, and like here in “my world” in the UK, many families congregate to share an umu together for a Sunday afternoon meal. A little like us all meeting for a traditional Sunday Roast. It is customary the older members of the family will sit and eat first, and as the meal continues the younger members and then children are invited to eat. The umu contains a profusion and mixture of dishes ranging from a whole pig, fresh seaweed and crayfish to baked taro and rice. Coconut appears in many Samoan dishes, for example palusami, a parcel of coconut cream wrapped in taro leaves baked in the umu.
When these first settlers did arrive, they found plenty of animals in the surrounding seas that were, and still are, used for the people’s diet, including crabs, octopus, turtles, fish of all kinds such as tuna, and sea birds such as noddies and terns.
The formalities and most important aspects of dining in Samoa are related to behaviour more than actual eating. As an example, bringing food to a dinner, even a small side dish or dessert can cause great offense to the host by indicating they will not prepare enough food for everyone. Also let your host seat you as guests are also often asked to sit in the middle of the table so they may converse with everyone more easily. Once everyone is seated it would be very noticeable there would be a lack of cutlery as most/many Samoans eat with their hands. It is important that you follow suite….We used cutlery at our dinner party. Taking a second serving of food is considered rude, therefore it is important that you have planned what you wish to take before starting to eat and it is very important to try every dish that is offered. This is a sign of respect and appreciation to your host. You mustn’t eat until signalled to do so, even though your host would expect you start first and it is so important to eat at the same pace as everyone else. Most of the people will leave some food behind then will take their excess food home for a latter meal. You are welcome to do the same, but as a guest your host may insist you finish all of your food.
Table laid my attention turned to the kitchen and I wanted to make the evening as authentic as possible.