Skip to main content

Cooking Around the World: Samoa

We traveled by tabletop to Samoa for dinner last week in our Cooking Around the World Adventure. I am just finally getting around to blogging about it. I figured that I'd better catch up since we've already cooked from our next country.

When I read that one of the most important aspects of the Samoan cuisine is that it is not heavily spiced and is characterized by the use of coconut milk and cream, I had not idea just how un-heavily spiced it would be...or how much coconut milk and cream I would be using. This dinner was not a hit. D called it 'blank.'

Some of the most popular Samoan foods are taro, bananas, coconut, breadfruit, shellfish, pork and chicken. A traditional method of cooking uses a Samoan umu, an above-ground stone oven heated by glowing hot lava rocks. The food is placed on the rocks, braided into coconut fronds or wrapped in banana leaves.

A bit about Samoa...

Samoa is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. While it has been inhabited for thousands of years, the first settlers were migrants from Southeast Asia. Europeans arrived in the 1700s, but did not begin to settle the islands until the 1830s. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Samoan islands were divided. The eastern half of the islands were designated as a territory of the United States, called American Samoa; the western islands became part of Germany and were called Western Samoa. In 1914 Western Samoa fell under New Zealand's control. The islands became a fully independent nation in 1962.

A few interesting facts...

In area, Samoa is slightly smaller than Rhode Island.

Canned tuna is Samoa's most important export.

Young men are in charge of the food, including the collecting and the cooking.

It is acceptable for parents who have too many sons, to raise the youngest boy as a daughter. He is known as a fa’afafine, is given a girl’s name and wears feminine clothing. He is even allowed to use the ladies bathroom.

What we made... [click title to go to original recipe post]

Alaisa Fa'apopo (Coconut Rice)

Sua I'a (Fish Soup) 

We're done with Samoa. Here's hoping that our next stop, San Marino, is a little bit more excited for our tastebuds!


Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an