Vanuatu is situated between the Coral sea and the South Pacific sea, 2,500 km, northeast of Sydney, Australia. It is a Y shaped archipelago consisting of 82 islands of volcanic origin, 65 of which are inhabited. The islands are rugged with deserted beaches and rumbling active Volcanoes. Mt Yasur is popular with visitors as it is possible for 4×4 vehicles to get within 150m of the crater rim. The climate in Vanuatu is tropical and they have a long rainy season. In March 2015, Cyclone Pam devastated much of Vanuatu and caused extensive damage to all of the islands. Cyclone Pam is possibly the worst natural disaster to affect Vanuatu.
The mainstays of the economy are agriculture, tourism, offshore financial services and raising cattle. Copra, cocoa, kava and beef account for more than 60% of Vanuatu’s total exports. The roots of the kava plant are used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, euphoriant, and entheogenic properties. It has been used to treat anxiety, stress and depression.
Vanuatu is widely recognised as one of the premier destinations in the South Pacific region for scuba divers wishing to explore coral reefs. A key attraction is the wreck of the US luxury cruise liner converted troop carrier “President Coolidge” on Espiritu Santo island, which sank during World War II and is one of the largest shipwrecks in the world, accessible for recreational diving.
Traditional staple foods of Vanatu cuisine include yam, taro, banana, coconut, sugarcane, tropical nuts, greens, pork, chicken, and seafood. I came across recipes for Lap Lap (root vegetable cake layered with coconut milk, meat or fish cooked in an underground pit), Nalot (boiled or roasted taro, and banana or breadfruit mixed with grated coconut and water) , Tuluk (tapioca dough filled with shredded pork) , Banana and Peanut Butter Biscuit, Sweet potato salad, Gato (doughnuts) and Tanna soup (chicken and coconut soup). I decided to make coconut scones, which had a very subtle coconut flavour and went well with butter and jam.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
4 tbsp coconut cream
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180c
Beat together the coconut cream, sugar, and egg
Add the dry coconut and baking powder and beat together well
Add flour gradually until it’s all added and blended well together. The dough should be slightly strong
Bring the mixture together with your hands and roll into a sausage shape.
Cut into 12 slices and place them on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray
Bake for 15 minutes, or until they are light brown