Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tasty Tourism Series-Oceania

In the post about Australian pavlova, I told you that I was going to feature recipes from each inhabited continent. Depending on who you ask, 'Oceania' (the southern part of the Pacific ocean around Australia) isn't a continent on it's own. It's really more of a region (kind of like the Middle East is a region) than a continent. Whatever you call it, it has a rather wide array of cultures from its various islands and island nations. Because of this, I'm going to include it in my 'Tasty Tourism' series anyway.

So you know what areas I'm talking about, here's a map: http://www.geographicguide.com/oceania-map.htm.

For a summertime treat, here's a refreshing drink that originated in Tonga:

'Otai (pronounced oh-TIE)
3 cups water
1 seedless watermelon, sliced
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 15.25-oz can crushed pineapple
½ cup coconut, shredded
½ lime, sliced
2 tbsp white sugar (optional, or to taste)

In a large bowl, cut the watermelon from the rind and grate with a fork until there are no large chunks left. Stir in water, pineapple, evaporated milk and coconut. Add sugar and stir until everything is dissolved. Once you're finished, squeeze the lime juice into it and serve.

Even though I was born in Guam, I don't remember anything about it. My dad was stationed there in the Navy and we left when I was just a baby. I would love to visit simply to see all the beautiful places my parents had pictures of. I can't take you there physically, so we'll go culinarily (is that a word? It is now!) Here is a recipe for a popular all-purpose sauce.
Finadene (pronounced feen-a-DEN-nay)
3-6 crushed or chopped hot peppers
1 chopped green onion
1 medium-sized onion, chopped or sliced
¼ cup (or to taste) lemon juice or vinegar
½ cup (or to taste) soy sauce

Just mix everything in a small bowl. As you can see from the peppers, it packs a punch!
Note: Any time you seed or chop hot peppers, wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face or eyes. Even better, use rubber or plastic gloves. Just trust me on this one.

Finally, here's something you can do with those bananas that are about go to bad.
Bonelos Aga Peach and Banana Donuts
3 very ripe bananas
1 tsp baking powder
1 15-oz can of peach halves
1 cup flour
Vegetable oil (for frying)
5 tsp sugar (optional)

Heat the oil in a pan or wok.
In a large bowl, peel and smash the bananas. Then, drain the peaches and smash them into the banana.
Sprinkle or sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add any sugar you're using. Now, spoon the mix into the oil by the tablespoon. When it's done, it will float and be a golden brown. Drain the oil on a plate with paper towels.

As I said before, the area known as Oceania represents a very wide range of cultures and countries. Even if you aren't likely to visit these remote islands anytime soon, there's no reason you can't sample the local cuisine at home. On that note, I will leave you with a site that gives you recipes with a musical interlude-http://pereda-family.tripod.com/recipes.htm

You're welcome.:)

1 comment:

  1. AAAAARGH now I have that song stuck in my head! Thanks a *lot*! :)

    But seriously, that sauce sounds good.