Article repost from Vogue
Article by Kathryn Romeyn
November 28, 2017
A Seafood Lover’s Guide to French Polynesia
Picture wading into crystalline water that looks littered with loose aquamarines, wearing a snorkel, mask, and water shoes, lying prone just below the surface and feeling a current start to sweep you through a supernatural passageway known as Taha’a Coral Garden. You float ethereally, silently, through a world populated by black fish with pouty cobalt-violet lips, creatures clad in pastel sorbet hues, and species with flecks of gold, neon blue iridescence, and the juicy tones of watermelon. With zero effort, you’re carried through narrow tunnels of throbbing coral as schools of inquisitive black-and-white beings with yellow tails swim up to your face, curious and intuitive. When you finally emerge from the water, you’re greeted by lunch: the freshest, most delicate slivers of tuna delicately dressed with a sweet-and-savory sauce onboard a gleaming white Tahiti Yacht Charter catamaran.
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The powerful—and even emotional—experience of drift snorkeling off the side of Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa in French Polynesia is singular, certainly, but still somehow everyday in a place that is so renowned for its underwater life and beauty. Hop on an eight-hour flight (from Los Angeles) on Air Tahiti Nui and you’re guaranteed some of the most epic scenes of your life. From a yacht, you can see spinner dolphins leap and twist playfully in the wake, or swim alongside graceful black-tipped reef sharks on the outskirts of the motus and reef around Bora-Bora.
The pristine waters off the many islands of French Polynesia are the definition of fishy paradise, and as wonderful as it is to observe the varied colorful species in the insanely turquoise lagoon waters, it can be just as satisfying to . . . eat them. (This is no place to get squeamish about where your dinner is coming from, especially since local and fresh should always be preferred.)
In the French-speaking South Pacific island nation, poisson cru is at the heart of a seafood lover’s culinary journey. It’s ubiquitous (you’ll even see it on the breakfast buffet at luxury resorts), and seriously delicious. The favorite native dish is akin to ceviche or poke in that it’s raw fish—usually just-caught yellowfin tuna—“cooked” or marinated by the acid of lime and soaked perfectly in coconut milk. The Tahitian specialty also often has sliced tomato, onion, and cucumber, lending some crunch to the homegrown ingredients.