Ever wondered how pineapples grow? If you answered “on trees,” you wouldn’t be alone! A lot of us don’t know exactly how our food grows, where it grows, or how far it often has to travel to reach our plate. It’s perhaps one of the most eye-opening things we can learn from visiting places like Fiji – where many people still have an innate connection to the land, enjoying a way of life that is far removed from the hurried pace and instant gratification of modern life. It’s why many are drawn to this part of the world – to experience a small taste of the famous “Fiji time”, a concept that not only describes our general philosophy and approach to life, but extends to the way we eat too.
Buzz words and phrases like ‘food miles,’ ‘farm to table’ and ‘slow food’ are certainly on trend in the western world, but they’re a redundant concept to many islander nations. Food here is simply that – something growing in your yard, shared by your neighbour, or caught from the sea – one meal at a time. It’s nourishment available whenever it grows (seasonally) however it grows (pretty or not), and whereever it grows (nearby)!
Fijian’s for example don’t generally grow or eat many cucumbers, or cool, dry season vegetables like brassicas. Of course, broccoli or cauliflower would be welcome at many people’s dining tables, but the average Fijian might need some tips on how exactly to prepare it!
At Savasi, while you may of course see the occasional cucumber in your salad, we have always advocated for a seasonal menu, one that showcases local ingredients over imported ones. Besides sampling our wonderful all-inclusive menu, you can also experience this by taking a walk through our flourishing, on-property garden.
Here, fruits, herbs and vegetables grow in abundance in the warm tropical climate. Our dedicated gardener will explain how he uses companion planting, rather than sprays, to control pests – and exactly which tree your breakfast papaya has come from. You can taste a banana directly from the tree and appreciate that this tree produces only one cluster of fruit then dies.
You’ll see rows of pineapple growing happily (along the ground!), learning that these plants can take up to two years to mature. Suddenly you’ll have a new appreciation when these fruits appear on your fruit platter the next morning – as well as having a fun fact to share with friends and family when you return home.
This connection with the land and with your food is just one way of slowing things down at Savasi. Gain a newfound awe and wonder for every meal you enjoy – knowing someone planted, watered, nurtured, harvested and prepared this nourishment for both your body and soul. It’s also one way we show hospitality, through the care of well-prepared, delicious and wholesome meals.
This way of life is one that Fiji and Fijians do so effortlessly and naturally, a reminder that we can all benefit from examining our relationship with food and championing locally made, and sourced, wherever possible.
Savasi Island garden tours run most days or on request are are complimentary for all in-house guests.