Food, eating habits and cusine of Solomon Islands
The traditional diet of the Solomon Islanders is not distinguished as a breakfast, lunch or dinner which is eaten as it is available. Consisting of rice as the main staple and fish or meat, the diet is eaten any time of the day. In many families with limited means of income, breakfast oftentimes consists of leftovers from previous meals and is taken with tea, unlike the breakfast of tea or coffee with meat rolls and buttered bread for well-to-do families. Canned meat or fish like tuna has become a household favorite. People along the coastlines still go for the basic staples of yams, panas or taros, which they eat with fish or seashells, while those in the inland and mountain areas, eat them with cooked greens, eels, snails of opossums. In many urban centers, the cuisine bears various influences from those who have touched the life of the people. The Spanish, for instance, had introduced the people into eating cattle, while Asians and Indians added spices, special ingredients and vegetables to the foods of the country.
Several dishes with European and Asian influence are now served in many local restaurants, or have found their way into many households. Many islanders have also learned some techniques such as boiling, steaming, roasting, frying and baking to cook their foods. Roasting is used to cook large amount of meat or fish served at ceremonial occasions and festivals such as the New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, National Day of Thanksgiving, or the Queen’s birthday. Most often, a famous local dessert is also served following the main course, which is made of bananas mixed with other fruits and caramel.