Austral Islands/Raivavae: Austral Islands Food Recap
The cuisine of the Austral Islands is not much different from the rest of French Polynesia – a mix of French and Polynesian with a lot of fresh seafood. But of course, I tried to find and seek out truly local specialties. Pork from feral pigs was one of them, and various weird shellfish and small crustaceans was another. Poisson cru aka raw fish was delicious everywhere. On Rurutu, my request to try something special resulted in a massive buffet of freshly caught lobster and crabs and oysters and pork and tuna and even fafaru! Fafaru is a unique Polynesian specialty where crabs and small reef fish are chopped with heads and guts and then kept on sea water for a week, creating a pungent and disgusting mix that is then use to pour over and marinate the fresh tuna (I tried this in Marquesas before – it was insane). On Rurutu, the fafaru is made with addition of a lot of hot peppers to the crab/fish mix, which eliminates the rotten taste and smell and makes the fish super spicy.