Monday, May 14, 2012

Samoa Divided and BBQ side dishes

North and South Korea are today seen as two separate nations, but despite what the outside world might think, my South Korean friends believe that one day the 'countries' will unite and become one powerful nation of Korea. I often wonder if Samoans ever think the same about our own divided nation. 

Before there were two Samoas as there are today, the chain of islands stretching from Ta'u to Savai'i was considered one kingdom. The ancient capital was Manu'a, which according to Samoan lore was the birthplace of Samoans and all Polynesians. 

Samoans in those days were as comfortable in the water as they were on land, travelling easily between islands by canoe and navigating by nature's compass. Because of our people's prowess on the waters, an early European discoverer called the Samoans islands 'the Navigators'.

Bougainville's maps of 'l'Archipel de Navigateurs'
(the Archipelago of the Navigators) - Samoa (1799)
Then in the late 19th century, ancient Samoa was geographically and politically divided by squabbling world powers. Fast forward to today, and you'll find the two sides of Samoa are economically divided but culturally united. We speak the same language. We eat the same food. We 'enjoy' the same fa'asamoa. My question is are we still one people? Or have the imaginary lines drawn by foreigners all those years ago actually become real borders?

I don't know. I'm a food blogger. Just providing some food for thought. Anyway, let's get cracking with some recipes.

To go with the BBQ marinade from the previous post I recommend you make either a creamy potato salad and a tangy coleslaw, or a tangy potato salad and a creamy coleslaw. Don't make creamy and creamy. Don't make tangy and tangy. The creamy dish will go well with the BBQ meats and the tangy dish will cut through all that richness.

For the potato salad, start by boiling up some cubed potatoes. Cook until almost fully cooked, then drain. (Try not to wait until the potatoes are falling apart or else you'll have to make mash). While the potatoes are still hot, but cooling down, add finely diced onion to taste. 

For the coleslaw, shred quarter of a large cabbage and 1 large carrot and combine them in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup (122g) of crushed pineapple and mix to blend.

For the creamy salad, simply dress with mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine then chill before serving.

For the tangy salad, dress with French Dressing or make your own by blending together 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 clove of garlic and 1/4 cup of parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then pour over your salad. Toss and chill.

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