During Thanksgiving Break, my family and I were lucky enough to be able to take a trip down to the French Polynesian Islands, particularly the incredibly beautiful island of Bora Bora.
The beauty of Bora Bora hit me right away. The sea air stung my eyes, the birds lightly fluttered their airy wings, and the sun reflected the water in ways you could not imagine. While Bora Bora is not extremely well known for their prepared foods, our family dove right into the culture of the island and decided that the best way to truly experience the island, was through eating only the freshest fruits and only the foods that were local or indigenous to the country itself.
This way of exploring the island, led us to indulge on a incredibly large selection of fruits, as well as some delicious dishes with fruits incorporated in them. The French Polynesians often used fruits such as pineapple, oranges, and coconuts to boost the overall taste profile of the meal.
The 5 fruits we constantly ate were pineapple, coconuts, passion fruit, oranges and grapefruits.
The pineapple was incredibly enjoyable. The fruit was cut into large pieces and each piece erupted with sweet, satisfying juices. The pineapple was always the perfect level of firmness on the outside, but when you sunk your teeth into the fruit, a sense of tenderness would overcome you. Unlike the pineapple at home, this pineapple would not make your tongue irritated after a few too many bites, you could literally eat this fruit all day.
Coconuts were perhaps the most popular fruit for the people on the island. Coconuts provided the perfect combination of tart and sweet. While coconuts and coconut water or milk are available throughout the states and everywhere in between, these coconuts were quite different. As the native Polynesian men and women cracked opens the coconut with a metal club, I knew we were in for a treat. The coconuts were wonderful. The water inside was refreshing and quenched my thirst after a long, tiring day on the water. In addition to the water, these coconuts were jam packed with tender, crispy coconut meat on the inside. The use of coconuts was very evident in the food that they prepared. For example, we were served a very sweet, moist, spongy coconut based cake (it was fantastic)!
Passion Fruit was very popular among my father, mother, and old brother, but unfortunately I did not eat to much of the exotic fruit. The times I did eat it, the fruit was fairly tart, but had it’s fair share of sweet moments. While the fruit itself is very tasty, you have to be a brave soul to eat this fruit of such an odd consistency. The fruit was extremely slimy and slippery, and in addition had a large amount of edible crunchy pits, that could turn off many a fruit lover.
Before going on this trip, I was under the impression that oranges were close to the same in any place that you could go to. Bora Bora opened my eyes to the world of oranges. The oranges had absolutely no seeds and when eaten, greeted me with an eruption of sour and sweet juices that melded together in perfect harmony. I could eat these orange gems all day!
The grapefruit on the island was perhaps the most interesting fruit on the island. Instead of the common orange, yellow and red shell & dark pink/red grapefruit meat, this grapefruit reminded me a lot of a huge lime. The grapefruit was completely green on the outside, and completely green on the inside. The grapefruit also did not have the same tart flavor that grapefruit eaters have become so accustomed to over the years. The grapefruit was sweet and packed a punch of enjoyable sour flavors. I ate so much of the citrus fruit over the course of the trip!
In addition to just eating these fruits alone, the chefs on the island would incorporate the fruits into countless desserts, rice-based dishes and everything in between. The freshness of the different fruits brought the dishes up to a whole new level of deliciousness and the presentation of the dishes impressed immensely as well.
Overall the trip to Bora Bora was the trip of a life time (we didn’t just eat fruit by the way). I would recommend taking the long trek down to French Polynesia, when you get there you will understand why.
I would give the trip ZZZZZZ- 6 Z’s- a never before given score!