Lap Lap, a delicious, traditional Ni-Vanuatu meal is more than just coconut milk and banana leaves. As the vines that bind the leaves together, so too does the dish bind families. Commonly eaten during festivities or special occasions, lap-lap consists of yam, taro or manioc, mixed with pressed coconut cream and a selected meat, often sausage or chicken. Ingredients are layered over softened Banana leaves, then closed and bound for a slow bake under pre-heated rocks. It is a long process, and therefore one that involves the whole family community. It’s as much about the journey as the destination, though the taste alone seems worth it.
As a celebration of our time in Vanuatu, and the re-uniting of families, Gladys and Samuel hosted us for a mouth-watering feast and full day of love, friendship and family. We want to thank them so much for such a wonderful bonding experience. Making lap-lap is not only a reminder of my childhood, but also a continuation of my connection to this country and these people.
Here’s the process in photos:
(nb: do not continue on an empty stomach)