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Tahiti and her Islands Food and Drink

All the classified hotels have good restaurants where visitors will find Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese and Vietnamese food being served, as well as the Polynesian specialities. Tahitian food can be found in some hotels, while Les Roulottes – trucks or lunch wagons parked on the waterfront at Papeete – sell steak, chips, chicken and shish kebabs. Red meat and poultry is typically imported from New Zealand, but many local dishes make good use of the abundant seafood and exotic fruits and local cooks are famed for their delicate sauces, often made with homegrown vanilla and coconut. A full range of alcoholic drinks is available.


Poisson cru, or iaota: Marinated fish, for example raw tuna served with coconut cream and limes. The national dish.

Tamaaraa: A Tahitian feast with lots of singing and dancing. Roast chicken and pork are cooked then served from 'ahima'a' underground ovens.

Fafa: Spinach-like taro leaves, often served with young suckling pig.

Pouletfafa: Chicken with taro leaves and coconut cream.

Fafaru: Sliced tuna or parrotfish macerated in sea water with crushed shrimps.

Chevrettes: Freshwater shrimp.

Uru: Breadfruit, eaten as a side dish.

Casse-croute: Tahitian sandwich, as popular with locals and tourists.

Po'e: A sweet, starchy pudding made of taro roots flavoured with papaya, mango and banana, topped in a rich coconut sauce.

Kato: Biscuits made with coconut milk.

Pineapples: There's no shortage of beautiful fruit on the islands but Tahiti's pineapples are reputed to be the sweetest in the world.

Firifiri: Figure of eight-shaped doughnuts dipped in coffee.

Noni Juice: Comes from the Noni tree and is famous for its health-enhancing effects.

Hinano: Tahitian beer.

Things to know

In general tipping is tolerated but not practised, since it is contrary to the Tahitian idea of hospitality.