No matter who you are or where you're from, it's almost guaranteed you'll have a memory linked to food — be it good or bad.
Food is one of the most memorable things each of us have in common.
Whether you've been lucky enough to try some Pacific flavours before or want to expand your palate and make some new food memories, here are nine Pacific Island foods you need to try — and where you can find them in Australia:
1. Otai: a tropical fruit drink from Tonga.
2. Palusami: a Samoan dish made with coconut cream, taro leaves and onion baked in leaves in an earth oven.
3. Taro: a root vegetable that's a staple in the Pacific Islands.
4. Hangi: the traditional Māori way of cooking using an earth oven.
5. Sapa sui (Samoan chop suey): a rice noodle dish made with chicken, beef, or even corned beef (from the can) with soy sauce and seasoning.
6. Kava (also known as ava in Samoa): a drink made from the root of the Piper methysticum.
7. Pani popo: Samoan coconut buns.
8. Oka: a raw fish dish served with coconut cream.
9. Finally, loco moco: a bed of rice with a patty of meat covered with a fried egg and drizzled with gravy.
Morwenna Petaia is a Samoan-Australian writer from Melbourne on Bunurong land.