The islands of the world and their diet: a theme that makes you mouth watering, right? Sea and islands is one of the clusters of Expo 2015.
Discover our stand at Cersaie 2014 and the photographs of the event Tiles & Food Novoceram inspired by this topic.
©Natesh Ramasamy https://www.flickr.com/photos/ramnaganat/9968993125
The main crops
The coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm, a tree probably coming from a region located between India and Malaysia. It can reaches a height of 25 meters and it produces its first fruits from the age of 5-6 years. An adult tree can produce from 50 to 500 coconuts. The flower of the coconut can be up to 30 cm in diameter.
The Philippines, the world’s largest producer of coconuts, produced 19.5 million on average each year. Indonesia is in the second position. The two countries together with India account for 75% of world production. About 20% of the population of the Philippines is working in the production of coconuts.
It is an oval berry that comes from a tree of the same name. It can be up to 40 cm, it can reach 15 cm in diameter and it weighs approximately 5kg. It is a particular fruit: its colour can be greenish, brown, red or yellow, its surface is covered with tapered pins and it emits a strong odor. The name comes from the Malaysian “duri” that means plug. The tree can reach a height of 25 feet. This fruit is produced in Southeast Asia and South America. Inside, the fruit opens in five shells, each containing up to 5 seeds encased in a white pulp.
©Choo Yut Shing https://www.flickr.com/photos/25802865@N08/5124222005
Bananas of wild banana trees have seeds within the pulp and are located in Southeast Asia.
Apparently banana trees are native to Papua – New Guinea. Historians have found traces of banana cultivation that date back to more than six thousands years ago, as well as other remains in Malaysia that date back to three thousands years ago.
©Jean & Nathalie https://www.flickr.com/photos/jries/517778668
Bananas can be consumed in different ways: the most common table banana, the banana intended for cooking ( the green plantain, or cooking banana) and banana beer ( with a bitter pulp, used to produce a fermented beverage).
The world banana production is in the order of 110 million tonnes, that is 3330 kg per second. It is one of the most consumed fruits in the world.
India, China and the Philippines are the top producers in the world.
The lychee is a fruit produced by the ‘Litchi chinensis’ a tropical tree.
This tree comes from China, where its cultivation has been practiced for over 2100 years.
Later it was introduced in India, Madagascar, Thailand, New Caledonia, Vietnam, Hawaii, South Africa.
This round-shaped fruit measures 3-4 cm in diameter and is wrapped in a skin that tends to pink when the fruit is ripe. It grows in clusters of 10 litchis each. In New Caledonia every year in December they celebrate the feast of lychee.
The guava is a tropical fruit of a tree of the same name that grows in tropical areas of Africa and America and that reaches a height of 8 meters. The plant is originally from Antilles and Brazil. The fruit measures between 3 and 10 cm and it has a thin and fragile skin that can be pale green, yellow, pink or red. The guava can be eaten right as it is or in the form of sherbet, juice, syrup or infused. The guava is produced in Martinique, in the West Indies, in India, China and Thailand.
©Philippe Cuvelier https://www.flickr.com/photos/konozre/8066958847
2/ The islands of the world and their gastronomy
The Hawaiian cuisine is multicultural and the result of the mixing of Asian, European andAmerican peoples that have colonized these islands.
Some typical dishes are the loco moco (rice accompanied with corned beef), the marinated octopus, the saimin (soup noodles scented shrimp and octopus), the lomilomi salmon (marinated salmon with tomatoes and onion), and cakes with tropical fruits (passion fruit, lilikoi, mango or guava).
2-b/ Canary Islands
The cuisine of the Canary Islands is full of interesting proposals:
the Gofio: cornmeal or wheat roasted and used in fish soups, cakes, mousses, puddings
Mojo: savory sauce with garlic, herbs and vinegar. There are several variants: mojo (with pepper, chili and cumin), the mojo verde (with parsley and cilantro) or even the mojo rojo (with chili very spicy).
Papas arrugadas: potatoes with skin boiled in seawater and accompanied by mojo.
Soups: chick peas, cream of pumpkin or zucchini, fish soup (with onions, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes)
Meat: marinated rabbit (conejo en salmorejo), pork (sausages dried fruit called chicharrones and morcillas)
The Seychelles food is a combination of Asian, African and European foods and it focuses on seafood, spices and tropical fruits.
Chicken, beef and seafood are generally served with rice and vegetable pie with a traditional spicy sauce. A traditional dish is for example the “Fish Curry” accompanied by tomatoes, onion, ginger. Traditional drinks are for intance lemongrass tea, the local beer “Seybrew” palm wine kalou (extract of the flowers of coconut), the berry rum (with brown sugar).
The tahitian cooking is influenced by the culture of different regions of the world, Asia and Europe in particular.
Here are the local specialties:
pork with coconut milk: the meat is accompanied by a creamy sauce.
raw fish such as tuna, mahi mahi, barracuda. Fish fillets are cut and seasoned with lemon and salt. The fish is then put in a cool environment for twenty minutes at least and then it is then cooked in lemon. Coconut is added before serving it.
the hypo: a bread made of flour, nuts and coconut milk.
The Pua’a: pork accompanied by cabbage, turnips and carrots.
The fafa chicken: tuber plant whose leaves are cooked with salt and lemon, the final appearance resembles a spinach dish that accompanies the chicken.
2-e/ Island of Réunion
The Creole cuisine of the island of Reunion is a mix of influences coming from the Malagasy, Indian, French, Chinese and East African cookings. In Island of Réunion fishing is practiced generally from November to March in waters believed to be the richest and most fishing in the world. In the picture below you can see the preparation of the bonbon cravate: a crunchy delight, a pancake with sugar and rice.
©Marie Astier https://www.flickr.com/photos/marie_astier/2812578886
2-f/ Islands of Cape Verde
Dishes are generally accompanied by rice, french fries, salad and sweet potatoes.
The national dish is the “Cachupa”: a kind of sauce with a base of corn and black beans with meat or tuna, usually accompanied by onions and eggs and generally eaten in the morning.
Other typical dishes are the “djagacida” prepared with corn flour and beans, the “churrasco” (grilled chicken), fish in all its forms (tuna, cod, shark, lobster, octopus, shrimp) and the typical dessert is the pudding cheese (made with goat cheese).
Here are some typical dishes of Martinique: the “Chatrou “, octopus on rice and red beans, the “colombo”, pork or chicken (traditional Indian), the “macadam ” (rice and cod), the “poulet boucané”, the “brochettes de lambi” (a shell), the “boudin creole”.
The traditional drinks of Martinique are the ‘Rhum de Martinique “, the” DLO kako “(chocolate water), the” Mabi “(maceration of peel), fruit juices (mango, sugar cane, tamarind, guava, pineapple, mandarin, lemon …), the “ti punch” (cane syrup with lemon and rum).
The cuisine of Guadeloupe is very spicy and seasoned and meat and fish are often left to marinate several hours before being cooked.
The Guadeloupe diet is based on local raw materials (pyo bananas, breadfruit, Gombos, cabbage), and ocean products. A typical dish is for example the “blaff”: the fish is seasoned and cooked in a broth flavored with the local onion (the cive), parsley, thyme and pepper. Other typical dishes in Guadeloupe are the “chiquetaille cod” (cod in vinaigrette), “Féroce avocado” (avocado accompanied by grilled cod, cassava flour and chili), “bokit” (bread fried in a pan with oil sunflower), “Migan” (a mashed banana and breadfruit), grilled lobster or lobster Creole.