Te Tiare Beach Resort in French Polynesia is a South Pacific paradise: Crystal blue water, lush terrain, and a perfect white sand beach. The resort also features a Polynesian dance and dinner program, featuring authentic dishes and traditional performances.
And while you may not have a tropical lagoon in your backyard, or a white sand beach for that matter, you can recreate the experience of a Polynesian gathering right in your own home. Here are a few recipes to help you get started, and no, you don’t have to bury a pig in the sand (though you can if you really want to).
Kalua Pua’a, or roast pig, is typically prepared in an underground steam oven. However, the dish can be easily replicated in the home oven with good results. Ti leaves, which are wrapped around the pork, can be difficult to find; check with your local Asian grocer or shop around online.
Poi is a doughy, sticky paste made from two ingredients: Boiled taro root and water. Traditionally the paste is made by mashing the root between a stone and wooden board.
Poke is similar to ceviche, but with a Polynesian twist thanks to sesame oil and soy sauce. If you’ve never prepared raw fish at home, don’t fear: Just ask your local fishmonger for sashmi-grade tuna.
Huapia is a traditional stiff coconut pudding that can be served in bite-sized cubes. Of course, a big platter of fresh fruit will suffice as well!