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Season of Nama

24 February 2018

With the launch of the Nama of Fiji beauty care products in mid-2017, new Nama products have entered the market with the production of Nama seasonings.

Nama seasonings are another brainchild of Debra Sadranu, whose company, Essence of Fiji, was recently awarded the Specialised Tourism Services and Support Award at the ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards last Saturday.

Having seen how the Nama Fiji beauty care products were being well received, Ms. Sadranu and her team looked to creating other products from the popular seaweed. The two products recently launched in the Nama Fiji range are Nama Salt and Nama Flakes. These seasonings are healthy alternatives to salt.

Nama Salt, as the name suggests, are granules made from Nama, and the flakes are dried Nama flecks, both of which can be included in the cooking phase or sprinkled over food.

This is Ms. Sadranu’s first venture into food products. In addition to the launch of the seasonings, Ms. Sadranu has also teamed up with Jonathan Petueli, a renown local chef, in the operations of The Café located at Essence of Fiji on the Nadi Back Road. Mr. Petueli was Head Chef of Antoinette’s Restaurant at Nadi Bay Hotel for 11 years, during which the restaurant was recognised as Fiji’s best at the Tourism Awards in 2007.

Mr. Petueli’s natural flair for producing interesting menu items has seen him create Nama fusion dishes at The Café. The dishes are healthy options on a menu, encouraging the use of local produce with the Nama seasonings.

In creating this new product line, Ms. Sadranu states ‘that these new products are derived from an already established source. Support from the Market Development Facility (MDF) has seen the establishment of Nama farms in the Yasawa Isands, which supports the goals of Essence of Fiji in promoting economic sustainability.’

With research supporting how the overgrowth of seaweed absorbs lots of nutrients from the water which results in the destruction of coral, the harvesting of Nama promotes environmental sustainability too.

Future development plans include a new building to incorporate a larger restaurant facility, in which Mr. Petueli can expand the current menu to provide a greater dining experience.