Foods of America (as described by Ni-Vans)

American and Ni-Van cultures can be so drastically different sometimes, that it's hard to find common ground to be able to describe something so foreign.

For me, it's sometimes hard to describe a food that simply doesn't exist in Vanuatu, or combines so many flavors that you can't easily explain what it is. When I introduce an American food to them, I always find it amusing how they later describe it to their friends using local references.

Below is a list of ways I've heard locals use to describe American foods or flavors (which I've translated from Bislama into English).

"Colgate flavor, or PK (chewing gum) flavor."

"Really sweet soy sauce."

"Smells like ice cream."
(vanilla extract)

"Chewy, tastes like ice cream, but it's hot."
(roasted Vanilla-flavored marshmallows)

Sonia and Joeline try their first ever s'mores. December 2017

"It's like banana pie."

"Chewy butter."

VV enjoys her pizza with a spoon. February 2018

"That thing that you use circles to cut it, but not circles, like stars, and you cut pancakes and then you eat them"
(Sugar cookies and cookie cutters)

"Pima (local hot pepper) tomato sauce."

"Potato volcano."
(Mashed potatoes and gravy)

Leitau and Vina try mashed potatoes and baked mac n' cheese on Thanksgiving. November 2018

and, my all-time favorite...
"It tastes like that de-worming medication. The sweet one, that you suck on like a piece of candy!"
(meringue frosting flavored with almond extract)

Vina, Lorina, Joanna and Shelly join me in decorating gingerbread houses.


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