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A Global Taste of Island Cuisine: Part 2

03 Nov 2015 | by Myles Johnson

Welcome to Part 2 of our journey discovering traditional dishes and authentic flavours from islands across the globe. So having stopped off briefly we resume our quest to unearth dazzling dishes, mouth-watering meals and tasty treats from the world’s most magnificent island destinations.


In this week’s edition you will get a taste of sunnier climes, cold artic seas and the colourful delights from tropical shores.

West Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean island delicacies may not be as well-known or famed as the other Islands in this feature, but this part of the world offers a wide range of exotic tastes and culinary delights that are pure bliss. Spanning from South Africa to southwest Australia, the far flung Islands of the Indian Ocean are a true marvel; cruisers to this part of the world will experience a plethora of delights. Picture luxury beach huts sitting on stilts above sparkling emerald waters, luscious palm trees scattered across white sandy beaches and a biodiversity of plants and wildlife that are unique from anywhere else in the world.

The amazing scenery sets the tone for the rich assortment of traditional and practical dishes. The Maldives are surrounded by vast oceans on every side meaning island natives have long used the sea as a natural bounty. Fish is an integral element of Maldivian cuisine, prepared in a range of delicious styles. Whether curried, steamed, or fried, fish meals always come out luscious and filling.

On the volcanic Island of Reunion the locals love to cook. Reunionese cuisine is a fusion of French culture, a pinch of Malagasy customs, a zest of Chinese flavour, and a mix of Indian spice, which when combined creates a unique set of exotic dishes.

The picturesque Island of Mauritius has an incredibly rich and diverse food culture, thanks to its incredibly fertile soil the island has become famous for producing super-sized vegetables and fruits. Mauritian cuisine is a combination of ingredients and influences from the Islands mélange of Creole, African, French, Chinese and Indian inhabitants, resulting in many flavoursome dishes. A few of the Islands favourites are King Prawn Rougaille, Gateau Piment (Chilli Cakes), Bouillon Boulettes and Mauritian chicken daube.

Though Indian Ocean islands may appear small on the map, they make themselves known across the world with their delicious cuisine.


Canary Islands

The Canaries are a set of rugged volcanic islands located off the Southern Coast of Morocco. This thriving Spanish archipelago is not only famed for its dramatic landscapes and black sandy beaches, the Islands are also a pleasure for the palate as well as the eyes.

Canary Island cuisine is reminiscent of the Spain peninsula with a combination of culinary influences from Africa and Latin America. A culinary tour of the different Canary Islands brings many surprises and contrasts. Although they all share a common cuisine, each island gives its dishes a local twist.

The islands rich volcanic soils give life to intense organic flavours and natural ingredients that create the basis for most Canarian specialities.

While exploring the Islands charming towns and seaside resorts make sure you savour the classic dish of Papas Arrugadas (wrinkly potatoes) with spicy mojo sauce. This hearty meal is an Island favourite, tiny potatoes are boiled in seawater so they become salty then topped with Mojo pepper sauce.

Other traditional Canarian dishes are Escaldon which has links to Tenerifes native inhabitants and is made from Gofio flour and fish soup. Legend has it that Escaldon was a popular meal among traditional Canarian wrestlers. Other traditional dishes that are a must try when in the Canaries are Ropa Vieja, Cazuelas, Sancocho and Carajacas.

Before you leave this charming region be sure to sample a slice of the famous Quesadilla Cheese Cake from El Hierro, with a class of Malvasia wine from the vineyards of Lanzarote.


Faroe Islands

In the Northern Atlantic lies the nature green cluster of rocky Faroe Islands , situated North of Scotland between Iceland and Norway. This remote archipelago is home to vast greenery, a rich Viking heritage, colourful wooden huts with turf roofs and a very unique cuisine.

Like many other islands across the globe Faroe Islanders owe their proximity to the ocean as an important part of their native cuisine.

Popular Faroese culinary dishes today are reminiscent of the Islands Nordic traditions that have been unaltered and date back centuries. A wide variety of seafood, blubber, lamb, potatoes, vegetables and Puffins are an important part of Faroese food culture. Along with the Drying Shed, known as a Hjallur.

Fermented fish and other Faroese delicacies are often stored in a Hjallur where they are hung to be ventilated by the wind for months at a time. The Skerpikjøt (Dried Meat) is then served in thin slices and with Rye bread.

Hjallur’s are a standard feature in many Faroese homes, particularly in the small towns and villages. The preservation of food on the Faroe Islands are born from necessity, winters on the islands are long, cold and frigid, and even during the summer months, very little grows.

South Pacific Islands

Located in the world’s largest ocean that stretches from Singapore in South East Asia to the tropical of Panama in Central America, are the Pacific Islands .

The staggering island chain of 789 habitable islands in the western Pacific comprises Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. These beautiful islands in the Southern Pacific are known for their rich indigenous cultures and exquisitely beautiful beaches, but less famed for their many gratifying and scrumptious food choices.

Food plays a central role in Pacific Islander culture; representing prosperity, generosity, and community support. Markets in Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti and Papa New Guinea are jam packed full of taros, lovo, bananas, leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and many more delicious natural delights.

Food in this part of the world varies slightly from island to island and is a beautiful melange of native foods blended with Asian Indians, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Japanese, and Euro-American influences from hundreds of years of migration and trade.

As with most island cuisines, food is heavily influenced by and dependent on what the land and ocean has to offer. Sweet potatoes, taro, rice, cassava, coconut, yams and a wide variety of tropical fruits are commonly eaten.

Seafood has long been the staple of Pacific Island cuisine, with traditional dishes including a vast variety of shellfish, nama seaweed, octopus, sea cucumber, sea urchin, turtle, and a wide range of fish. The way pacific islanders prepare their food is also very unique with traditional open fires or underground cooking methods preferred to modern appliances.

This brings our exciting edition exploring A Truly Global Taste of Island Cuisine to an end, we hope you felt the inspiration and developed a greater understanding and appreciation for the many different culinary specialties from around the world.

Experience and savour quality natural fresh foods, exuberant cultures and vibrant climates for yourself onboard an amazing World Cruise.

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