Overview of Tongan Cuisine History Edit

It is considered that the Tongan region has been inhabited since the 5th century BC. Traditional Tongan fare include many dishes such as suckling spit-roasted pig; fresh seafood's either raw or cooked in coconut milk such as fish, lobster, and octopus; and fresh tropical fruits. Many restaurants in Tonga often serve foods originating from Taiwanese, German, Italian, Indian and, Japanese cuisine, including a mix of tastes from neighboring island countries.

Preparation Edit

  1. Chop up any choice of meat you prefer (popular meats are: chicken, sheep ribs, and corned beef!)
  2. Chop up onions (and tomatoes if you want)
  3. Place meat and onions (and tomatoes if you want) in neatly overlapped taro leaves which will act as your pan
  4. Salt and pour coconut milk over meat - just enough to cover
  5. If you are gifted, then use banana leaves to wrap around the taro leaves so as to keep the coconut milk from seeping out, or you could just use aluminium foil.
  6. What you just made is called lu; Make several of these for the umu.
  7. Do not forget to include your root crops to bake along with your yummy lu! Root crops: Tapioca (manioke), yams (ufi), sweet potatoes (kumala), taro (talo), and kape.

Tongan Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Spit roasted pig

Young Tongans in dance wear with delicious spit-roasted pig! Yum..

Spit-roasted succulent pigs are what define a 'feast' in Tonga. Other dishes found at feasts are: 'Ota ika (raw fish with coconut milk, onions, tomatoes, lemon juice); fish, chicken, and sheep ribs (sipi) baked wrapped in taro leaves with coconut milk (lu); feke (octopus), and clams cooked in coconut milk; lobster; potato and chicken salad; cole slaw; yams (ufi), and sweet potatoes (kumala); and fresh tropical fruit just to name a few.

One of the most popular Tongan festivals is the Heilala festival week which is a beauty contest celebrated with many feasts, singing, and dancing.

Tongan Pride in their Traditional Foods Edit

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Tongans 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 a modern take on a traditional dish, Tongans take pride in what they do.