Yap food stories

This health message is posted in the center of town.

This health message is posted in the center of town.

This sign pretty much sums up some of the food issues on Yap.  As on other Pacific islands, the ease of fast, prepared foods is luring many people, children and adults alike, to choose Vienna sausages, SPAM, and Pringles over a traditional native diet of taro root and fish.  Lots of sweetened cereals, sweetened breads, canned fruits in heavy syrup, sodas.  Some fruits (mangoes, papayas, pineapple, etc.) are grown on the island, plus taro, breadfruit, beans, sweet potatoes, and a bunch of leafy greens.  And lots of fish (caught nearby, not grown). But the vast majority of food is brought by  container ships, or on one of the 3 flights that lands here weekly.

We usually go out to one of the 5 local restaurants for dinner, but breakfasts and lunches we eat here at home. Tuna and ramen: cheap and easy favorites.  For something different, today I mixed a handful of raisins into my dry tuna. Yummm.

During yesterday’s dive, one of the Yapese on the boat “free dove” down to the bottom and kept bringing us fresh giant clams.  We pried them open with knives and some of us tried the delicacy, but much of the meat we brought home to share with our neighbors.  They made us up a soup with unidentifiable flavors, and we politely ate as much as we could.  A better version of  it was the coconut clam soup I had earlier in the week for dinner.

Chris cutting up fresh giant clam during our break between dives

Chris cutting up fresh giant clam during our break between dives

 

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