This is what we are lacking in everyday life. The thrill to cook, to bake, use farm fresh and fresh sea produce to have amazing food. Is it we have become lazy with time, we are loosing our traditional ways of cooking or is it western cruzines have become so tantalizing for our mouth? The blame goes all the way to the women as most Pacific people think that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.
As I did my mini documentary for this week on the topic why people are slowly losing their traditional way of cooking and opting for fast food, I found out that women have started to work and the traditional touch to their food has become difficult to maintain.
Increasing fast life and more working women, it has become difficult to spend more time in the kitchen. In Fiji, mind set of people is such that they assume a woman’s place is in the kitchen. NO it is not.
Cooking is actually something that I enjoy. Every woman should be free from just being in the kitchen every time. In preparing for my documentary, some interviews to women also revealed that man do not take any interest in cooking. My conclusion would be that, men in Fiji rather prefer their evenings around their grog bowls.
I was puzzled to hear from my lecturer Mr. Jutel in class that “a man’s place is in the kitchen”. It was probably the first time for me to hear that from a man. It is usually opposite in Fiji.
Why not? Man in Fiji from what I have observed so far claim that they cook at weddings and functions but do not prefer cooking even a small portion at home to please their family or wife.
Meals for families should be a time to relax after a hard day’s work. If only kids of today take their time and EYES off from those gadgets then only I suppose they would be able to help their moms in the kitchen. Mums needs us for bringing back those traditional delicious meals that were prepared before. Noodles, chips, chop suey, fried rice, chilli chicken are not our local meals. They are easy to cook but can be avoided. Even countries like South Korea, where their stapled food are as mentioned above, practises healthy eating in some places.
Having a western taste in few occasions would be nice but what about our healthy fish lolo, fresh meat stews, grills, lovos, puri, Parattah, raita, dhal, and other traditional foods we had. A little help from the men in the family and children would again revive the tables with amazing traditional foods.
Tradtional food and its method of cooking came with healthy benefits. They had essential nutrients to keep us healthy and away from non communicable diseases.
As far as my grandmother tells me, they used to cook dhal from different fresh pulses available from their farms. Together with that, they would add fresh vegetables to make it healthier. It was the traditional method of preparing it. But now our traditional dhal is replaced by can dhal in Fiji. How healthy is that?
Lovos were part of Sundays where men would take out time to do it every now and then. Now in Fiji lovo has become an occasional meal which is done on Christmas, or at special occasions such as weddings. Men have become lazy I suppose, since preparing for lovo is quite a skill.
Baking is something that every home was also once popular in Fiji. Mothers used to bake for every breakfast. Either it is pancakes, cakes, bread, or buns; it was never a difficult task. Now, it’s been replace by weetbix, bread from bread shops or most people go without breakfast because of the rush in the mornings.
Cooking is the most joyful thing to me. It just requires few skills of combing ingredients and adding the traditional and healthier touch to it.
Find your joy today and you’ll find out why your grandparents lived to be a hundred.
- Fish lolo- Fresh fish cooked in coconut milk
- Lovo- meat and root crops cooked in hot earth oven
- Puri- tradtional indian Chappati fried in oil
- Paratha- traditional indian chappati filled with potatoes, pulses, and other leafy ingredients
- Raita- taditional yoghurt salad
- Fish miti- fresh fish cooked in raw coconut milk