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The cuisine of Vanuatu (known in Bislama as aelan kakae) incorporates fish, root vegetables such as taro and yams, fruits, and vegetables. Most island families grow food in their gardens, and food shortages are rare. Papayas, pineapples, mangoes, plantains, and sweet potatoes are abundant through much of the year. Coconut milk and cream are used to flavor many dishes. Most food is cooked using hot stones or through boiling and steaming; little food is fried.
Kava, a traditional non-alcoholic drink, is extremely popular in Vanuatu. Once a prestigious beverage brewed from Piper methysticum, it is commonly drunk at dusk, before dinner, mostly by men but increasingly by women. While it has mild narcotic and relaxing effects on the individual, it is mostly appreciated for the relaxed social atmosphere it is traditionally associated with, both in urban and rural areas, in the context of the nakamal.
The national dish of Vanuatu is the lap lap.
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