Papua means frizzy hair which resembles the population of the island. New Guinea was added to the name when Spanish explorers found a striking similarity with Guinea in Africa. The rainforests are home to several species of plants and wildlife and Papua New Guinea is one of the few places with a traditional practice of subsistence farming.  

You will find coconuts in abundance along with fresh seafood, right off the coast on your plate. Even the chickens are reared by them in poultry farms. Fruits and vegetables are freshly grown and the roots are also used in cooking, especially bananas.  

Here are 3 hidden gems of the Papuan cuisine that you may have never heard of.  

1. Mumu  

This traditional delicacy has such an elongated cooking method that it requires the entire family to be involved in the preparation. The key is to layer everything in a pit dug in the ground, consisting of hot stones. On the banana leaf base, vegetables and roots are placed along with choice of meat (which is generally pork) and covered with another banana leaf on top. Mumu is cooked in coconut milk that gives it the delicious flavour.  

2. Saksak  \

These are like an African version on dumplings. Except that they are cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in a banana leaf. The stuffing consists of mashed bananas and sago or cassava (yams).  

3. Kaukau


Sweet potatoes are a favorite in the region. The interesting part is that the dish is made from and served in potatoes too. Mashed sweet potatoes are baked with garlic, ginger, eggs etc. And then filled into the potato to be baked and eaten.   

Intrigued much? Just imagine what a lovely experience would it be if you could actually live and eat like the locals of this undiscovered Oceania land.