7 must-try Tahitian dishes
The Islands of Tahiti have a lot of incredible local dishes just waiting to be tried by eager visitors. We have put together a list of traditional Tahitian meals that you need to try on your next adventure to this tropical paradise.
Holding the position of The Islands of Tahiti’s signature national dish, this scrumptious, fresh meal is available on every menu in the islands. Poisson cru literally translates to ‘raw fish’ in French and being true to its name, this dish contains raw tuna marinated in lime juice and coconut milk before or after (depending on the cooking you want) being mixed in with diced vegetables.
This delicious entrée combines local freshwater shrimp with creamy coconut milk and divine vanilla, cooked to perfection. These freshwater shrimp can be found around the waters in The Islands of Tahiti.
Like other South Pacific cultures, the Tahitians use an underground oven to cook up traditional feasts. To prepare these feasts, locals cook their dishes in baskets woven from banana leaves over hot rocks in a large hole in the ground. Ahima’a refers to the style of cooking rather than the food used, however, many hima’a feasts can include fish, pork, banana, taro and shrimp. Locals tend to cook a ahima’a on Sundays or for special occasions.
Translated to ‘breadfruit’ from Tahitian, this starchy fruit is found on ‘uru trees scattered around The Islands of Tahiti. Uru can be prepared multiple ways including fried, steamed, boiled, baked and roasted, however, cooked in a hima’a tends to be the most popular method. Locals also enjoy consuming ‘uru with hot corned beef – definitely worth a try!
This is a dish for the seafood lovers and not the faint-hearted. Typically prepared with tuna or parrotfish marinated in fermented seawater, this dish has an interesting smell which causes visitors to question if it’s really worth a try. The fermented seawater is created through combining crushed shrimps with sea or salt water for 2 or 3 days, leading to its unpleasant odour. Fafaru is served with a fermented coconut almonds milk (‘miti hue’) and is a dish worth trying if you are adventurous enough.
Dessert is calling and po’e is definitely a winner here! Combining manioc with banana, pumpkin or papaya mash creates this traditional Tahitian dessert. Other tropical fruits can be used to create different flavours and textures in this delicious dish. After being cooked in a ahima’a, po’e is coated with coconut milk – absolutely delectable.
This sweet donut-like treat can be enjoyed for breakfast or for dessert – ready to be devoured by locals and visitors alike. Firi firi is primarily made from flour and coconut milk and they are traditionally shaped as figure eights. With a crispy exterior and a slight coconut flavour, these delights are best eaten warm with a dust of sugar or jam.
Combine the undeniable beauty of The Islands of Tahiti with their incredible food and you have one amazing holiday! Come and experience the fresh cuisine that The Islands of Tahiti are famous for today.