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Tuvalu - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Tuvaluan Cuisine History Edit

[[Image:||right|thumb|]] Tuvalu, also known as Tuvalu Islands is a state in the Central Pacific (Oceania) and it is composed of 9 distinctive islands. The regions have a very hot weather and a very rich fauna with various species of fish, which are intensively used in the Tuvaluan diet. Even more, the most significant economical income comes from fishing, but also from the exports of coconuts – another staple aliment in the Tuvaluan cuisine. Various desserts include coconut and coconut milk is also highly used, instead of the regular animal milk. Due to the fact that these islands are rather isolated, the neighbors` influences are not felt in the Tuvaluan cuisine. Still, due to the fact that a part of the population is represented by English people, as Tuvalu was a British colony during the 19th century, the Tuvalu cuisine includes British elements and meals, which are combined creatively with the local flavors.

Cuisines of Tuvalu Edit

Map of Tuvalu

Map of Tuvalu - Click to enlarge

Tuvalu is formed of 9 different very small islands, like Naumea, Niutao, Naumanga and Funafuti, which are distribute on a wide area in the Pacific, so their cuisine and diet habits vary, but they are all based on seafood, fish meals and local plants, such as taro. Most of the population is concentrated on the Funafuti Island and even though this is very small, the cuisine here is most representative for all the state. In the capital, Vaiaku, the seafood dishes and meats are more common than the mashed veggies or soups, while in more rural areas or islands, the taro is the staple aliment and it is considered to be multi-functional: there is the taro leaf and coconut soup, taro leaf au gratin, taro chips, taro cakes and palusami - all these are meals that can be found in Hawaii, too. The palusami, also called the samoa is a dish which is served with taro or breadfruit and it is made of taro leaves (which can be replaced with spinach), coconut cream, lime juice, onions and spices.

Preparation Methods for Tuvaluan Cooking Edit

The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Tuvalu 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 Tuvalu’s regions. Tuvaluan cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Tuvaluan cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Tuvaluan cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. Meat is one of the main elements of most Tuvaluan dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Tuvaluan Cooking Edit

The wide spectrum of can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers & portioners, food pans & food containers and other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories, the Tuvaluan cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Tuvaluan dishes. 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 Tuvaluan food: 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".

Tuvaluan Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

The Tuvaluan people are almost all Christians, so the most significant celebrations are Christmas and Easter. Tuvaluan people also celebrate their Independence Day on the 1st of October with exotic parties and large family feasts. Tuvaluan people also enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with roasted meats and vegetables garnish with local sauces. On festive occasions, the Tuvalu people dance the traditional fatale and eat meals like seafood and fish like salmon, Trout or Flounder and steaks. The traditional desserts include banana spreads, the coconut mousse and coconut shakes or ice-creams, which contain both ground coconut and the fruit’s light and flavored milk.

People in Tuvaluan Food Edit

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In the region of Tuvalu, there are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Tuvaluan dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Tuvaluan 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, Tuvaluan chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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