Food in

French Polynesia

Food In French Polynesia

Alongside paradise landscapes, tropical beaches and heavenly islands,聽French Polynesian cuisine聽is equally as alluring. Due to the archipelago鈥檚 location in the聽South Pacific,聽French Polynesian food聽is heavily influenced by the island鈥檚 natural abundance of聽seafood, tropical fruits and vegetables.聽Furthermore,聽French cuisine聽is another important influence, and if you聽travel to French Polynesia聽you鈥檒l find all manner of delicious pastries served up alongside fresh fruit for breakfast! Colorful, fresh and healthy are all words you could use to describe聽traditional French Polynesian food聽and these are some of the most common dishes you鈥檒l find on the menu at any local restaurant:

Poisson Cru

Translated in French as 鈥榬aw fish鈥,聽Poisson Cru聽is the聽national dish of Tahiti聽and her islands. Bearing resemblance to the South American dish of聽ceviche, Poisson Cru consists of raw fish, most commonly聽tuna, marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. The sweetness of the coconut milk compliments the acidity of the lime juice perfectly. The marinated fish is served alongside fresh vegetables and traditionally served on a banana leaf.聽

Poulet Fafa

This聽authentic Polynesian dish聽is cooked in a traditional聽ahima鈥檃聽oven or pit barbeque. The main ingredient is chicken, a protein source used in many聽French Polynesian dishes. The chicken is browned and combined with onion, garlic, ginger and coconut milk to create a creamy, flavoursome dish, usually accompanied by taro leaves.聽


A traditional Tahitian barbeque would be incomplete without聽Po鈥檈 pudding聽for dessert! A simple fruit pudding, Po鈥檈 is made by combining mashed聽bananas with arrowroot聽and baking the mixture in an聽ahima鈥檃聽pit oven. The mixture sets into a pudding-like consistency and is then cut into smaller pieces and served with a generous dollop of coconut cream and perhaps some fresh fruit.


One of the most traditional yet unusual dishes on the French Polynesian menu,聽Fafaru聽is a fermented fish dish. Not for the faint of heart, yet surprisingly tasty, Fafaru is made by聽fermenting tuna fish聽in a marinade of pickled seawater. The pickled seawater is created by fermenting crushed shrimps and crabs in fresh seawater for a number of days. The aroma of the fermented fish might turn heads, but the result is surprisingly sweet-tasting and loved by locals and visitors alike. The聽marinated tuna聽is often served alongside聽coconut cream.

Firi Firi

A more accessible and downright delicious Polynesian dish is聽Firi Firi, or聽Tahitian doughnuts. Frequently served up as a breakfast dish, the dough is typically made with聽flour, sugar, coconut milk, yeast, water, and a pinch of salt and is shaped into individual聽figure-8s. The figure-8-shaped pieces of dough are then deep-fried until golden brown and delicious and either dusted with sugar are served with fresh fruit. What better way to start a morning in聽French Polynesia?

Coconut water

In case you haven鈥檛 noticed already, coconuts play a leading role in聽French Polynesian cuisine! Growing on trees across the archipelago, coconut trees are the most abundant tree in the country and therefore, you can鈥檛 venture far without stopping for a refreshing drink of coconut water if you聽travel to French Polynesia.聽Preferably served up straight from the coconut itself, coconut water is reported to have incredible聽health benefits聽and is full of hydrating electrolytes. An integral part of聽French Polynesian cuisine聽and culture, be sure to hydrate with fresh coconut water if you travel to these paradise islands!

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