Major shopping is limited to the two main ports
of Luganville and Vila.
Luganville has small Chinese stores whilst Vila
the capital has two large Supermarkets that are excellent supplying a wonderful
selection of imported foods. They take credit cards and prices are slightly
more than the U.S. Local Market shopping is cheap though not as varied
as Fiji. Prices are fixed and the market is open long hours.
In the remote regions several villages often share
a bakery where French baguettes can be bought or ordered for the next day.
Sailing to the small villages you will quite often be asked if you would
like some fruit: bananas, papaya, grapefruit, coconuts, melons and beans.
We always offer a small gift in return. With an abundance of papaya generously
given to us by the village at Banam Bay I was able to make this delicious
Cube enough papaya to fill a salad bowl
for the amount of people you are feeding. Spread sliced onions on top and
pour over the following vinaigrette.
Vinaigrette: mix to taste
red wine vinegar
hot chili sauce
fresh lime juice
Laplap is the national dish of Vanuatu made by
grating manioc, taro roots, or yams into a doughy paste. The mixture is
then placed on taro, wild spinach, or banana leaves and soaked with coconut
milk. Pieces of pork, beef, poultry, fish, prawns, or flying fox are added
after which it is wrapped into a package and placed in a ground oven with
hot stones above and below, taking about 2-3 hours to cook. We were able
to sample this dish when we viewed the local dancing in Banam Bay. Served
hot from the ground the laplap was cut with a bone knife before everyone
sat on matting in a circle eating it with their fingers. The day before
we had watched the village prepare a communal evening laplap dish with
everyone contributing to the contents. The young men had been out on the
reef so crabs and fish were the flavor of the day. Once the oven was opened
the laplap was divided between the families and taken home. A center fire
was also lit and pieces of smoldering wood were carried to each home to
be used for starting cooking fires and repelling
mosquitoes. Unfortunately our laplap menu of the day was corned beef and
not the seafood dish we watched being prepared the evening before, but
I guess it was better than dog. Laplap is an acquired taste and requires
a green coconut or two to wash it down.
Click on your interest for provisioning