There are a couple of uniquely Fijian things you really must try during your visit to Fiji . One is a lovo, the traditional form of cooking.

This is the Fijian name for a feast cooked in the earth (in New Zealand , a ‘hangi’). The taste is like a barbeque, only a little more smoked, and it’s a very efficient way to cook large quantities of food at the same time.

While sampling the food which emerges from the lovo pit is a most enjoyable experience, watching the preparation of a lovo is almost as much fun.

The first step in preparing a lovo is heating the rocks which will serve as the base for the lovo.  Specially selected stones are placed in a hot fire and left to absorb the heat. When the rocks are sufficiently heated, they are pulled from the flames and placed in the bottom of a shallow pit.

Next, chicken, fish and pork are tightly wrapped in a weave of palm fronds or banana leaves before being place in the bottom of the lovo pit lined with hot rocks.  On top goes various root crops including dalo (the potato like root of the taro plant), cassava (the root of the tapioca plant) and Uvi (wild yam).

Once the pit is filled with food, the entire hole is filled with earth and left to 'cook' for anywhere from two to three hours depending on the amount of food.

Unearthing the lovo is done with great celebration and the succulent morsels which emerge are unwrapped and placed on large banana leaves to cool before the feasting begins.