In pre-European times, the Fijian islanders cooked food in bamboo strips on an open fire but, with increased trade with the Tongans, the underground oven or lovo was adopted. To make a lovo, a hole is dug in the soil, laid with wood over which black volcanic stones are placed. A fire is lit, the stones are heated and the food, wrapped carefully in banana leaves or tin foil, is placed on top. The main constituents are usually a whole pig at the bottom with dalo, yam, chicken, fish and palusami laid on top in order to give each the correct amount of cooking. The hole is covered with coconut leaves with soil spread on top sealing in the heat and cooking the food slowly (anything from an hour to five hours depending on size). Most Fijian families prepare a lovo early Sunday morning before heading to church so it is ready for eating at lunch. Lovos also form the heart of ceremonial feasting at weddings, funerals and any other communal gathering.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Fiji features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Island paradise: the best resorts in Fiji

Island paradise: the best resorts in Fiji

Fiji is about as close to paradise as you can get. This South Pacific archipelago, over three hundred islands lying around 2000km east of Australia, has some of…

29 Dec 2014 • Helena Smith insert_drive_file Article
10 of the best GoPro videos

10 of the best GoPro videos

Since GoPro was founded in 2004, they’ve inspired photographers to capture the world from a new angle. Today there’s a huge range of small and versatile wa…

03 Oct 2014 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
The friendliest countries in the world

The friendliest countries in the world

Whether it’s a smile exchanged with a stranger, a quick chat with a tuk-tuk driver or a night out on the town with a group of newly made friends, interactions…

30 Sep 2014 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month