The Cuisine of The Islands of Tahiti is internationally renowned for its fresh fish and exotic fruits and vegetables, prepared in the indigenous Polynesian way with a touch of French flair. Restaurants throughout the islands offer French, Tahitian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Italian dishes for the discerning palate. Tahitians are known for their delicate sauces, which often incorporate home-grown vanilla and freshly squeezed coconut milk. The following is an overview of signature cuisines and dishes that gastro travelers should try:
Poisson cru (ia ota) is the national dish and can be found in most restaurants. This melt-in-your-mouth entrée consists of raw fish and diced vegetables soaked in coconut milk and marinated with lime juice. Chevrettes, another popular Tahitian dish, are tasty freshwater shrimp which can also be found throughout the islands.
No amura’a (meal) is complete without a rich island inspired dessert. The ultimate Tahitian dessert indulgence is poe, a sweet pudding made of taro root flavored with banana, vanilla, papaya or pumpkin and topped with a rich coconut-milk sauce. Looking for something a little lighter? Try the mouth-watering French croissants or the tasty biscuit-like treats, kato, which are made with coconut milk. A cup of the local coffee flavored with vanilla and served with sugar and coconut cream complements any of these delicious Tahitian treats.
Les Roulottes or “food trucks,” located near the wharf in Papeete, are a great way to experience Tahiti’s local cuisine and culture. These roulottes, are colorful, electrically lit vans that offer the best inexpensive dining. Both locals and visitors alike can be found dining and enjoying a variety of dishes, from roast pork and pizzas to chow mein and flaming crêpes.
Another way to sample authentic Tahitian cuisine is to attend a Tahitian feast, called a tamaaraa. At the feast, visitors are greeted by traditional Polynesian singing, and dancing, and celebration. Native Tahitian local dishes of fish, roasted pork and chicken cooked and served from an underground oven called an ahima’a. Visitors to The Islands of Tahiti will receive a final touch of Tahitian tradition as the tamaaraa concludes with a full Polynesian show complete with costumes and dancing.
About Tahiti Tourisme United States
Tahiti Tourisme United States (TTUS) is the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the country of French Polynesia, more commonly known as The Islands of Tahiti. As the DMO for The Islands of Tahiti, TTUS liaises with airline, cruise line, hotel, resort, tour operator, travel advisor and consortia partners to develop product, launch marketing initiatives, and generate robust tourism trade within French Polynesia.
About The Islands of Tahiti
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture, and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for their white- sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Each island offers a variety of accommodation experiences from luxurious resorts with overwater villas, to family guesthouses, to sailing via private charter or scheduled cruise. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti. Tahiti is halfway between California and Australia, on the same side of the International Date Line as North America and in the same time zone as Hawaii. For further information, visit www.tahititourisme.com or call (310) 414-8484.