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Kiribati- Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of I-Kiribati Cuisine History Edit

According to the Kiribati inhabitants, a substance that is traditionally known as « te renga » represented the food of ancestors which made the mouth when it was eaten. In fact, this substance was not eaten alone, as it was chewed with the leaf of a certain tree. These people were conscious of the fact that « te renga » was meant to keep away ghosts. In Kiribati almost every person has a strong belief which says that food is a gift of gods and it should be treated with respect. As long as these believes remain alive, food is also meant to nourish the body and to please the mind and the eyes. Kiribati cuisine is generally based on sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and astringent ingredients and flavours.

Cuisines of Kiribati Edit

Map of Kiribati

Map of Kiribati- Click to enlarge

The most important dish in Kiribati is rice which is generally served with most meals. A very simple dish is that prepared with fish of different sizes from the sea. Food in Kiribati also consists of fish and seafood, such as fresh shellfish, crabs, and shrimps. Except these tasty dishes, people from Kiribati use all sorts of sauces and spices. Seafood is very tasty if it is left uncooked in a vinaigrette matrix, grilled, and even stuffed with onions wrapped in banana leaves. In Kiribati exotic dishes are based on coconut and coconut milk that are great in cooking meat and vegetable dishes. More than this, coconuts are used in creating mouth-watering desserts like macapuno or thick dessert jam, bibingka or pudding made of rice, coconut milk, Sugar and eggs.

Preparation Methods for I-Kiribati Cooking Edit

Kiribati cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbours and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for cooking in Kiribati, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Kiribati cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential - either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Kiribati is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Kiribati's regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most dishes from Kiribati and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for I-Kiribati Cooking Edit

Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers & portioners, food pans & food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories, the Kiribati cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated dishes from Kiribati. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking food in Kiribati: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers & strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

I-Kiribati Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

One of the most popular festivals from Kiribati is Yap Day Festival which represents a celebration of cultures, dance and traditional costumes, being held in a different village every year. This villages hold the « mit-mit », hosting the event and providing free traditional and western food and drink. Another important part of this festival includes sitting dances, standing dances, kneeling dances, and stick dances. Every man and woman dresses in colourful traditional costumes and crowds all gather to witness the performance of every village. The Yap Day Festival is always held of the first weekend of March and it is seen as a form of competition between villages. Being a symbol of friendship, hospitality and mutual respect, this festival also represents a special occasion for people to eat different types of dishes, such as rice, meat, fresh meat, or seafood, and, obviously, national dishes, such as adobo, sinigang, bistek, lechon, and lumpia.

People in I-Kiribati Food Edit

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There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional dishes in Kiribati and create original and delicious food variations. In this region, chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Kiribati chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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