Food is a major part of Tongan culture. The Umu is an earth oven - but really it's an event! Layers of leaves/cardboard line the pit and a fire is lit underneath. Food is cooked in parcels (leaves or these days foil). Traditional food is Lu - leaves wrapped like a parcel containing coconut milk and meat or fish).
Root crops figure heavily - and I mean heavily. Taro can be as tall as me and is harvested when the roots are as big as a watermelon. The leaves also make fabulous umbrellas. It is a starchy white vegetable that tastes of...nothing really. I prefer the Kumala Hawaii which is a sweet potato that has a fantastic deep beetroot colour.
Note the icecream Jan is holding - this is the smallest size! Sweet things feature large too.