Food holds a significant position in the Micronesian tradition. Specifically, traditional and ceremonial celebrations are marked with festivities, with a large quantity of traditional foods served to everyone.
Imported foods have slowly replaced traditional recipes in FSM, but traditional food items can still be sampled in this island country.
Made from pepper shrub roots, sakau was drunk in the olden days to seal a deal. Today, though, this beverage is a customary drink in Pohnpei. Feasts are never without this potent, sedative beverage.
Sakau, which is also prominently called kava, is made the traditional way. The roots are pounded on a flat stone using basalt rocks. The juice is then filtered with hibiscus bark and mixed with a small amount of water.
Sakau is usually drunk immediately after.
Breadfruit is a staple item in Micronesian kitchens. It is used to prepare several dishes because of its starchy texture. But there are several other ways to enjoy breadfruit in Micronesia.
It can, for instance, be steamed, fried into chips, grated, or mashed. Baking it in the oven, though, is a popular way of bringing out the breadfruit’s flavor.
Micronesians also like to make breadfruit into salad. The traditional breadfruit salad recipe calls for meat, beans, cucumber, onions, tomato, and cabbage.
Since Micronesia has an abundant supply of edible fish, Micronesian cuisine can be described as fish-oriented. In fact, fish, along with chicken, is the main source of protein in this country.
Micronesians have several fish dishes, but they usually like eating slices of raw fish with a peppery sauce. If you want to try raw fish, make sure the fish is well prepared to avoid stomach problems.
Other types of seafood, such as shrimps and shellfish, also make up the traditional Micronesian cuisine.
Micronesian chicken is a local specialty that has become popular in other parts of the world. It is grilled chicken breast steeped in lemon juice and then marinated in a mixture of beer, soy sauce, and chopped onion and garlic for at least three hours.
This sumptuous chicken dish is served during festivities, but you can also order it in restaurants.
Micronesians are yam lovers. It is said that in Pohnpei, they have more than a hundred words for yams. The country produces such immense specimens of this root crop, it sometimes takes as many as eight men to carry one whole singular piece. Naturally, you will find a lot of yam dishes in the country. One that you have to try is koapnoair koakihr – ground yam cooked in coconut milk.