I’m fascinated by the Pacific Islands, maybe it’s because the San Francisco Bay Area is home to one of the largest populations of Pacific Islanders outside of the Pacific Islands. While I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Hawaii most of the other islands in the region are on my bucket list including Fiji. I was lucky enough to meet some Fijians recently and here is what I learned.
1. Fijians put family ahead of everthing else and are known for being very talented health care workers who say “caregiving is in our blood
2. Fijians are passionate about rugby and were the world champtions in the Rugby World Cup Sevens
twice and won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
3. Fijians partake in drinking kava
made from the root of the Piper methysticum plant. It’s has sedative, anesthetic and euphoric properties and relieves anxiety. Originally used in ceremonites, it’s now enjoyed socially and served out of a bowl, if you’re lucky by a charming and handsome Fijian.
4. Fiji was formerly a British colony, over 40% of their population is Indo Fijian. So much of their cuisine is influenced by Indian food.
5. Just as the Hawaiian word aloha means many things and is used as a greeting, Fijians use the word bula (boo-lah) which means life but implies good health.
In addition to meeting Fijians, I got to try some Indo-Fijian food. Here are a few dishes made by James Raven Chand, proprietor of Curryous
? Catering. The food was outstanding and if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, James is your man.
First off, crunchy fried cassava served with pineapple cilantro chutney. In the middle are some of the tastiest meatballs, made from a combination of beef for flavor and chicken for tenderness, marinated in a spice paste and coated with a red pepper coconut glaze. Finally on the right, some classic samosas, filled with potatoes and peas. Light and crisp and delicious served with a tamarind chutney.
Last but not least, the Fijians are in San Francisco for their beloved rugby so if you’d like to meet them, head to the Rugby World Cup Sevens Welcome Ceremony
at Embarcadero Plaza at 5 pm on Thursday July 19, 2018 or get tickets
to see them play at AT&T Park. Or learn more about visiting Fiji