Bora Bora’s food and dishes reflect how different cultures & traditions have impacted on Bora Bora. This contributed to the islands a mixture of local cooking, French cuisine, Italian flair & to a lesser extent, Japanese influences.
Fish remains the staple diet for Tahitians. Poisson cru is an extremely popular food dish with both locals and tourists. It consists of raw fish marinated in lime juice then mixed with coconut milk.
This is often served in a salad of finely cut cucumber, onion, tomato & capsicum. It is yummy, and that’s unsurprising considering that Bora Bora has been listed as the number 1 destination worldwide for local cuisine in the past.
The former President of French Polynesia, Gaston Tong Sang, prepares a freshly caught parrot fish over a fire of heated coral on Bora Bora’s sacred Motu Tapu:
Maa Tahiti – the Traditional Tahitian Feast
Maa Tahiti is the traditional Tahitian food for feasts (tamaaraa) and eaten by many every Sunday. It’s cooked in a himaa – an oven made by digging a large hole in the ground into which stones are piled & heated by fire.
The food is wrapped in banana leaves and placed on the hot stones, then covered by a blanket of purau & banana leaves. The leaves are covered in hession sacks and finally dirt around the sides before being baked for several hours. Dishes include:
- Chicken & pork with sweet potatoes
- fafa (a type of spinach)
- po’e (a sweet fruit – usually individually papaya, banana, tarot & pumpkin – puree mixed with starch, sugar & coconut milk)
- fei (a type of banana).
The food is served with;
- miti hue (lightly fermented coconut milk)
- miti haari (coconut milk diluted with water & lime)
- taioro (thick fermented coconut milk).
You can find a lot of these traditional dishes and local cuisine in the many restaurants in Bora Bora.
Local fruits such as papaya, mango, pineapple, grapefruit & banana adorn the table. Meals are eaten with the fingers & accompanied by fafaru – fresh fish dipped in sea water fermented for days with delicious fish and prawn heads. Yes, you can smell it for miles!
Generally speaking, a snack serves easy-to-prepare, straightforward meals in a relatively relaxed atmosphere. While a restaurant is a more formal setting and provides a dining experience serving plates that are more complex to prepare.