Sakau is a popular local drink among Pohnpeians and it is becoming popular among the three sister States as well. It is a staple of both the culture as well as the local economy. You can find Sakau bars where visitors can witness it being produced the traditional way on the rock and then squeezed for its pleasurable and relaxing mystical effects. Roadside vendors also bottle the tincture and sell it along the roads. Sakau is made from the roots of a pepper shrub (Piper capsicum) and the inner bark of the hibiscus tree and was once reserved exclusively for the high chiefs and nobility, drunk only during important ceremonies.
Pohnpeian pepper is renowned for being the best in the world. It is not only spicy but also has a rich fragrance and an awesome, full flavor. For the cooking aficionado, it is not to be missed. Due to the high humidity of Pohnpei, volatile ingredients containing the flavor remain inside the grain which enables it to keep its potent fragrance and aroma. Pohnpeian pepper blooms and bears fruit all year round and can be harvested several times a year resulting in unmatched freshness.
Oranges, Limes. Tangerines (KOSRAE)
Kosrae is well known for its citrus fruits. Oranges, limes, mandarins, tangerines and other citrus are available from numerous fruit stands, such as the one shown in the picture. Whether staying on the island for a stay, or just passing through the airport, citrus – especially the seedless and juicy tangerines – are always available to the traveler that is lucky enough to sample the famous citrus of Kosrae.
The Betel nut is a form of local chewing tobacco. The betel nut is split open and powdered with lime, wrapped with pepper plant leaf and sometimes a piece of a cigarette is inserted to enhance its effect. It is a practice found throughout the FSM, but Pohnpei and Yap have it in abundance and it is a relatively important exported cash-crop for the local economies.
Fruits and Crops (YAP,CHUUK,POHNPEI,KOSRAE)
Bananas, breadfruits, coconuts, mangoes, pineapples, wild apples, star fruits, papaya, guava, sour sop and so many more local fruits can be found in the islands of the FSM. It is a veritable greenhouse of delectable edibles. The Federated States of Micronesia is one of tropical fruit heaven. It has several fruits and crops that are not commercialized but mainly used in the villages, for instance, breadfruits, sour sop fruits, Karat (Banana), etc. While there are many varieties of banana found in the FSM the “Karat” is unique and has been found to have high nutrient and vitamin content and is mainly used for infants as baby food. The agro-forests of the FSM can be seen everywhere and are an ever-present part of the daily subsistence lifestyle.
Staple Foods (YAP,CHUUK,POHNPEI,KOSRAE)
The main staple foods in the Federated States of Micronesia are taro, yam, bread-fruit, banana, and coconuts, of which there are hundreds of varieties. The staple foods from the ocean are the many reef and pelagic fish, crabs, shellfish, pig and chicken. Pigs, especially in Pohnpei and Kosrae, are raised by nearly every family for ceremonial and cultural purposes, such as weddings, funerals and feasts of celebration.