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Tantalise Your Taste Buds in Tahiti

Tantalise Your Taste Buds in Tahiti

story by: House of Travel

Ahh, French cuisine.

Some of the world's yummiest, most mouth-watering dishes have been crafted over centuries of careful care by French cooks, and you can taste these delights in the warm sunshine of Tahiti in French Polynesia. Fresh seafood, exotic fruits and scrumptious vegetables bring a Pacific pizzazz to the traditional French flair in the preparation of your dishes, sure to tickle your taste buds.

The food on this tropical island is called ma'a Tahiti, and is as much a feast for your eyes as it is for your stomach, with a plethora of restaurants dotted along the coastline with views of the sapphire seas. Traditional dishes are calling out to you to be tasted, their delicious flavours wanting to dance on your tongue while you sit back, relax and enjoy the amura'a, Tahitian for 'meal'. 

Bistros, sidewalk cafes, traditional fine dining and mobile restaurants in brightly painted vans called 'Les Roulottes' are all available for a food pilgrimage. Ingredients in Tahitian food embrace both the ocean and the land, with coconuts, mangoes, limes, pineapple, grapefruit, papaya and oranges complementing crayfish, clams, prawns and shrimps. 

Here's some of the must-try dishes to enjoy during your stay in Tahiti.

Poisson cru

This native delicacy comprises raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk, widely renowned as the signature dish of this region. Refreshing with hints of sweetness and tartness from cucumbers, onions and tomatoes, this dish can be found on most menus across the island. For those of you who are tentative of raw fish, fear not, as the acidity from the lime juice gently cooks the fish. Tuna or mahi mahi are usually the favoured options for this dish.

Complement your meal with a glass of Hinano, the famous beer of Tahiti. Launched in 1955 during the Tiurai festivities, this beer has become a cult classic on the island. Miss Hinano beauty pageants were arranged in 1956, and similar events have since graced the shores leading up to dance and live music festivals in modern times.  

You can spot the bottle easily thanks to the logo of a beautiful Polynesian vahine (woman) with long, flowing wavy hair cascading down her back and a floral crown adorning her head. Sip the joys of Tahiti as you treat yourself to spoonfuls of poisson cru.

Poe

Like poisson cru, this is a popular Tahitian dish, and most restaurants will offer it as part of their dessert selection. Poe is a sweet pudding made from taro roots, a vegetable native to the Pacific Islands. Banana and vanilla are added for a sugary flavour, along with papaya or pumpkin. A creamy coconut-milk sauce is drizzled over the top to complete this delectable dessert. 

Faraoa coco and Firifiri

Sweet toothed travellers will love indulging in these desserts as well. The first is a coconut bread, while the second are doughnuts in the shape of a figure-eight, great for dunking into your steaming cup of coffee as you start the day in paradise. 

Kato

If you want something a little lighter than a doughnut with your coffee, grab a handful of these tasty biscuit treats made using coconut milk. French croissants are also a popular offering in most cafes. 

Casse-croute

A beloved local sandwich, this is similar to a baguette and can be filled with ham, cheese and vegetables for a quick snack or lunch on-the-go. 

Tama'ara'a

Once a week, most of the resorts on Tahiti host a massive feast called Tama'ara'a. An underground oven called 'ahimaa' is used to cook pork, fish and roast chicken, served up to visitors in a celebratory environment of singing, hip-swinging dancing and celebrating. A truly joyous atmosphere spreads through the crowds at these feasts, making memories to last a lifetime. 

Make sure you fly to Tahiti with a ravenous appetite! 

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