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Norfolk Islander Cuisine

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Norfolk Island - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Norfolk Islander Cuisine HistoryEdit

Norfolk Island is situated in the Southern Pacific Ocean, between New Caledonia and New Zealand. The island is very rocky due to its extinct volcanic nature, so the agricultural possibilities are limited. Still, there are some plantations of cotton, banana trees and citrus fruits, which are the bases for most of the Norfolk Island’s desserts. Fishing is a major activity and Norfolk Island once played host to an out of use Whaling Station. Norfolk Island is a territory that belongs to Australia, although still having their own seperate government and administration. Most of the local cuisine is modern cooking, although some restaurants have themed dinners with a select menu of more traditional dishes. The more common diet of Norfolk Islanders, labelled "reef and beef", consists of beef which is locally sourced along with an abundance of seafood. The most common fish available on the Island is known locally as Trumpeter (Red Throat Emporer). About a third of the population of Norfolk Island are descended from the infamous Mutiny On The Bounty, therefore alot of the families have recipes passed down through generations, most dishes having a Tahitian influence. 

Cuisines of Norfolk Island Edit

Map of Norfolk Island

Map of Norfolk Island- Click to enlarge

Norfolk Island is a very small territory, so there aren’t any culinary differences between its regions. Seafood is the staple meal in the Norfolk Island cuisine, regardless of the region. Most of the restaurants on all coasts, especially in Kingston, serve the seafood and really fresh fish, served shortly after fishing them. The traditional dishes that can be found in all restaurants on the island are the pilhai, the hihi pai and the mudda. In more touristy areas, there is a variety of Italian and Chinese and Indian dishes. Still, the most traditional dishes are based on the Polynesian recipes. In many restaurants, there are theme dinners or progressive meals, which are very complex and rich, but also innovative. Norfolk Island has only 2000 inhabitants, which are mostly Pitcairn descendants, Australians and New Zealanders. Considering this, there is no surprise that the island’s cuisine is very much influenced by the Australian one and the New Zeeland’s diet.


"Cuisines Of Norfolk Island" Literacy/Accury Factual Breakdown.

Norfolk Island is a very small territory, so there aren’t any culinary differences between its regions.

Norfolk Island's land area is 34.6 km² with about 32km of coastline. This makes it impossible for there to be a differentiation between "regions" as there can only be one. Norfolk Island is a single, independant, off shore territory of Australia falling under NSW. It has it's own legislative goverment, although the currancy and education curriculum of Australia. 

Seafood is the staple meal in the Norfolk Island cuisine, regardless of the region

It's not called "Reef & Beef" for no reason. Norfolk Caters to just about everyone! Vegans, Vegetarions, Meat Lovers, Fish Lovers and everyone in between. Steak is locally grown, raised by small children then fed to them for dinner when the cow is old enough. The children often name the mother cow and calf so they can work out which cow produced the tastier offspring.

Most of the restaurants on all coasts, especially in Kingston 

There is one restaurant in Kingston, which is mostly open these days by apointment only eg a tour group or function. There is no fish and chip shops in Kingston, you have to go into Burnt Pine for food. If you are lucky and are at Emily Bay at the right time, you might catch what used to be called the "Wettles Bus" (Wettles meaning Food in the Norfolk language). If you are looking for a great place to eat, ask the locals or motel owners on their preferences for example, a great place for a coffee and a catch up is Hilli Lounge on Queen Elizabeth, right next to the cyclorama.

The traditional dishes that can be found in all restaurants on the island are the pilhai, the hihi pai and the mudda 

In 12 years, I have not once seen Hihi Pai on the menu of any cafes or restaurants. Hihi Pai is an acquired taste, and if you really want it, ask a local for a recipe or invest in a cookbook. Norfolk Islanders do not appreciate resources being wasted. Hihi Pai is best when it's straight from the ocean into a pot of boiling water to eat before being made into the pie. Mudda is also an acquired taste. Most restaurants on Norfolk Island serve modern food and culinary delights. However, some restaurants have themed set dinners that stick to traditional dishes. Bounty Lodge once had a themed dinner which incorporated a culinary journey showing the traditional Tahitian Ahima'a (the Tahitian verson of a Maori hangi, above ground covered in banana leaves), as well as dishes that had been passed down through Norfolk Island families, such as coconut pie.

Norfolk Island has only 2000 inhabitants, which are mostly Pitcairn descendants, Australians and New Zealanders. Considering this, there is no surprise that the island’s cuisine is very much influenced by the Australian one and the New Zeeland’s diet. 

Norfolk Island has less than 2000 people currently living on the Island, most of which are Pitcairn Descendants or Australian residents here on a working visa. Not many New Zealanders live on Norfolk Island. As for cuisine, there are no traditional New Zealand or Australian dishes, just modern cuisine that can be found anywhere in the world, with exceptional produce that has been sun ripened as opposed to gas ripened giving it a juicier, fuller flavour such as bananas.

Also, learn to spell New Zealand, or invest in a higher education in English, Geography and Food. Or come at me for a web redemption. It's never too late.

Preparation Methods for Norfolk Islander Cooking Edit

The cuisine of Norfolk Island 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 Norfolk Island cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Norfolk Island 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 Norfolk Island 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 Norfolk Island’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Norfolk Island dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Norfolk Islander Cooking Edit

There is no special equipment needed. Just a cookbook or a family recipe.

Norfolk Islander Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

The celebrations in Norfolk Island are very joyful and enjoyed by both the locals and the tourists (there are around 30 000 tourists annually). On special occasions, such as Bounty Day, the islanders consume traditional meals, such as pacific-style fish (local fish marinated in lemon juice, served in coconut cream with tomatoes, lettuce and other seasonal vegetables), pilhi (savoury banana slice made with green or ripe bananas, salt and flour), mudda (green banana dumplings in coconut milk) and the tantalizing tropical fruits. 

Most of the traditional recipes of Norfolk Island have been handed down through family generations, differentiating from the traditional recipes of the mutineers extending back to Tahiti and Pitcairn Island.

Bounty Day is a truly remarkable day in Norfolk Island History, celebrated annually on the 8th June. Bounty Day symbolises the arrival of the Pitcairn Settlers on Norfolk Island back in 1856. Bringing together the descendants of the mutineers, each family having their own recipes which they share in a gathered feast at the end of the day.

People in Norfolk Islander Food Edit

  • Are you into Norfolk Islander Cooking and would like to be interviewed?

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

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