Taste sensations from Samoa and the Phillipines

Our school is a multi-cultural community filled with many different cultures and their own traditional foods. During Arts and Culture week we get a chance to taste the food from different cultures in our school. The main cultures of this presentation are the Islands of Samoa and the Philippines.


Food is very important to the Samoan culture. In the islands, Samoans use what they call the umu to prepare most of their foods. The main foods that the people of Samoa eat is luau, talo, fish, fausi and pua'a (for special occasions).


Here in New Zealand, we use ovens to cook our food but in the island of Samoa, they use what they call the umu which is a traditional way of making their food. The umu is basically just above the ground with rocks laid out onto the ground. Though, not just any rocks, but lava rocks. When preparing a meal, you can put the uncooked food directly on the rocks or wrap it in banana leaves.


Luau is a special dish which is very easy to make. There is just a gathering of taro, coconut cream and onions. We add all the ingredients together and have it wrapped in a whole taro leaf. After this put together, you cook it in the umu. When cooked, you can either eat the whole dish, including the taro leaf or just eat what’s inside the taro leaf.

Talo (taro)

Taro is one of the popular island foods the Samoans eat. It’s so popular, that even the Samoans in New Zealand eat it (mostly on Sundays). There are so many taros in Samoa because nearly every family has a ma'umaga (taro plantation). A taro plantation in Samoa is mostly just a field filled with taro plants. Once in a while, people go there to collect taro for lunch or dinner of the day. The taro can be cooked in many different ways like baking it, boiling it and even including it in a different dish (like the luau). Taro is something the Samoan can never get enough of.

I'a (Fish)

Most of the time, the men of the family like to go out fishing. In New Zealand, we use things like a fishing rod and baits. Well, things are different in the islands. They pretty much use a spear and a very strong thick rubber band. They attach the rubber band to the end of the spear and stretch the rubber band. Once they let go, the spear will bounce off the rubber band, fly fast, depending on the strength used to pull the rubber band.


Fausi is used as a dessert. It’s just cooked taro mixed with coconut cream that has been caramelized. It’s been made as a dessert because of the sweet taste of caramel.

Pua’a (Pig)

A cooked pig has a great taste to it. It’s simply just catch, cook and eat. The hardest thing about having pig for dinner is catching it first. Pigs are hard to catch because of their agility. So, the number one weapon for catching a pig is skill. You need to have the skills of agility and strength. First, you need to catch the pig with your bare hands and to catch it fast before it gets away. You then tie its legs together and then kill it whichever way you prefer it to be killed. This event mostly only happens on special occasions like a funeral, weddings or birthdays. I prefer this dish the best of them all.

Samoa has many other foods but there are just too many to list. Samoans never miss out on a meal because eating delicious meals makes their day. Food is very important because without Samoan food, there is no tradition and when there is no tradition and when there is no tradition, there is no Samoa.

‘’Samoa Mo Samoa’’

Camilla and Esther

Filipino Favourites

Pansit or Pancit

Pansit or pancit is the term for noodles in Filipino Cuisine. Noodles were introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese and have since been adopted into local cuisine. The word pansit came from the Chinese Hokkien Pian I Sit meaning convenient food. There are different kinds of noodles found in the supermarkets and that way they can be cooked at home. People can buy it cooked in a local restaurant or takeaways. That way it can be more “convenient”.

Buko Pandan or Coconut Pandan

Buko pandan or coconut pandan is a rich and tasty dessert that is similar to fruit salad and coconut salad. This dessert is distinct because it is enhanced by the aroma and flavour of the pandan leaves. Pandan is a tropical plant that grows abundantly in the Philippines and its blade-like leaves are used for cooking. It is prepared by boiling the pandan leaves in water until it's juice is released. The leaves are then removed and gelatine bars are added. The liquid mixture will turn into a jelly, which is then cut into cubes. After all that is done it has added by a juice of a young coconut. It is best served during the summer months or anytime there is a gathering like a birthday parties, feasts and during the holidays. My family always prepares this dessert during summer and in a gathering. And everyone likes it.



Name Ethnicity Favourite food
Esther Samoan, Indian keke pua'a
Camilla Samoan pua'a (pig)
Rudri Indian curry
Alia Indian curry
Tafa Samoan sua fa'i
Tiegan John Māori hangi
Jahmaya Māori hangi
Cray European pancakes
Tatiana Māori butter chicken
Promise Thai noodles
Stefan Tuavaluan butter chicken
Jayden Pakeha butter chicken
Elijah Samoan chop suey
Bronte European pua'a
Devon European cheese
Laura European chicken
Michaela European pizza
Zane Palagi pizza
Renee Palagi butter chicken
Kelstyn Māori hangi and pizza
Krystal Palagi butter chicken
Telesia Palagi lamb
Crisanto Filipino pancit
Aswinan Sri Lankan chicken
Eddie European New Zealander bacon pancakes