Tourism, Food Traditions and Supporting Communities in Samoa

The Mea’ai Project

Authored by: Tracy Berno

The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Food and Gastronomy

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415702553
eBook ISBN: 9780203795699
Adobe ISBN: 9781134457335


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Situated in the Polynesian triangle approximately halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, Samoa is known for the rugged beauty of its rainforest-covered volcanic mountains and valleys leading down to spectacular tropical coastlines. People travel to Samoa – 124,677 international arrivals in 2013 (Samoa Bureau of Statistics, 2014) – to enjoy the diversity of natural sea- and land-based attractions and experience fa’a Samoa – the distinctive Samoan way of life. It is fair to say, however, that tourists do not travel to Samoa for the food. Indeed, Polynesian food in general has a less than favourable reputation. Victor Bergeron, who founded the Polynesian-themed Trader Vic’s restaurant chain, once said in an interview, ‘The real, native South Seas food is lousy. You can’t eat it’ (Reddinger, 2010: 208).

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