Kanak culture is also explored through meals. The island lagoons are full of fish and seafood, the Loyalty Islanders are born farmers and the particularly fertile soil produces an abundance of fruit and vegetables. Numerous hosts’ tables will offer you all this rich natural produce combined with love into an authentic and flavoursome cuisine.
A ceremonial dish not to be missed, the bougna is traditionally cooked in the ground, wrapped in banana leaves and buried under burning hot stones. Being present -- or better still, participating -- in its collective preparation will add quality to this essential experience of local flavours.
In the Kanak world, the yam, an offering of Mother Earth, has a sacred dimension. Manifestation of the divine order, it is born, dies and is reborn again and again. It illuminates the path of men who, by planting and harvesting it, participate in the creation of the world. Its growth cycle punctuates the life of men and, in each of the islands, its harvest triggers important customary ceremonies. At the centre of all types of social exchanges, even today, it seals contracts and ensures that promises made are honoured. It is also one of the main units of value in exchanges at intertribal events.
A farming people, the Loyaltians are also skilled fishermen and the waters that bathe their islands are particularly rich: from octopus, hunted on the flat exposed areas at low tide, to the lobsters that hide in the undersea cliffs of the reef, from the many fish of the lagoon — parrotfish, snappers, groupers etc. ... — to the snapper of the depths, the sea invites itself to your table. Not to mention the coconut crab, endemic to the islands, an imposing terrestrial crustacean that feeds almost exclusively on coconut, to be experienced for its very noteworthy flavour.
Some recipes to discover in our restaurants’ tables: the pahatr (bird's nest fern) whose young shoots are eaten in salads or as an accompaniment (at the Fenepaza restaurant); parrotfish fillet with Lifou vanilla sauce (Tamanou beach restaurant); mangrove crab burger (Didéwa Mafatu); clam velouté with coconut milk (avocado festival and wajuyu festival ); casserole of the shelled coconut crab, a farandole of seasonal vegetables and coconut rice (Chez Dom)
I try new tastes!
Restaurants and tables d'hôtes