Entries in #culture (1)

Tuesday
Mar082016

Experiencing the Fijian Culture: Fijian Lovo

Almost a month into my time in Fiji and it has been filled with wonderful experiences. Starting from the infamous kava ceremony to the best shark diving in the world. However, one of the most interesting thing to experience is the Fijian Lovo.

Our host family serving roast chicken, dalo, and cassava for the lovo (Photo by Freya ScrowstonLovo is a Fijian name for a feast cooked in earth. I am a big lover of traditional cooking and food, so naturally I am very excited when our Project Manager told us we’re going to have a big lovo with our Matagali family! Lovo always happens in the afternoon because a whole day was needed to prepare the food.

The first step in preparing a Lovo is heating the rocks which will serve as the base for the Lovo.  Specially selected stones are placed in a hot fire and left to absorb the heat. When the rocks are sufficiently heated, they are pulled from the flames and placed in the bottom of a shallow pit.

Next, the meat (chicken, fish, or pork) are tightly wrapped in a weave of palm fronds or banana leaves before being place in the bottom of the Lovo pit lined with hot rocks.  On top goes various root crops including dalo (the potato like root of the taro plant), cassava (the root of the tapioca plant) and Uvi (wild yam).

Once the pit is filled with food, the entire hole is filled with earth and left to 'cook' for anywhere from two to three hours depending on the amount of food. For the lovo that afternoon the family also provide us with palusami and potato salad. It was such an amazing feast to partake in.

Me stuffing my face with all the amazing food (Photo by Freya Scrowston)After the food was tucked safely into all of our stomach, the volunteers had a lively game of rugby with the family’s children. Much laughter and excitement were shared. It was definitely one of the best afternoons in Vaqa bay.

By Jane Giat - Assistant Research Officer

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