The foods of Tuvalu The cuisine of Tuvalu, a state in the Central Pacific (Oceania), is based on the staple of coconut and the many species of fish found in the ocean and the lagoons of the atolls of Tuvalu. Pulaka, (cyrtosperma merkusii), or swamp taro, is an important source of carbohydrates. Rice now forms an important part of the diet. Coconut is used in different forms with coconut water, coconut milk and the flesh of the coconut being used to flavour dishes. Various desserts made on the islands include coconut and coconut milk, instead of animal milk. Because these islands are isolated, the neighbors' influences are not felt in the Tuvaluan cuisine; because Tuvalu was a British colony during the 19th century, the Tuvalu cuisine includes British elements and meals with the local flavors.