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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Low Larders & Ripe Fruit Inspire Creative Cooking


“Oh no we can’t sell you half of these,” the Bora Bora
proprietor insisted.  As a result, I bought nothing.

One oddity common among most Polynesians – they don’t like to bargain.  

In my case, the issue is usually not about price, but quantity.  Much as I love starfruit (“carambole” in French Polynesia), the two of us can eat only a few each a day.  If it ripens faster than that – and everything ripens quickly in this tropical climate -- it will rot.  When I ask if it’s possible to buy a less than a dozen or so at once, usually the proprietor instead slips me a few more and asks if I can buy 5-10 papayas or mangoes, too.

Red bananas are best cooked in a fire pit, so I
don’t buy them.  These were for sale in Bora Bora.

When I can, I split my purchases with other cruisers, sometimes simply give them whatever I know we can’t eat in time.  Usually though, we find we’re frequently more adventurous incorporating local fruit and veg into our diet than our fellow cruisers.



Fresh starfruit, canned hearts of palm, chopped dry salami,
kalamata olives, scallions and home-made vinaigrette.
Affordable fruit, good use.
Much as fresh and local appeals, sometimes, when “family sized*” portions are required, I just have to walk away.

*It’s not usual for Polynesian families to number around 25 members.

For families who buy meter-long baguettes by the dozen, I suspect my desire to purchase such meager portions seems a little crazy.  But there’s just the two of us, and I hate waste.



These bananas and mangoes ripened too quick for us to consider
a repeat purchase for passage food in Maupiti.



Location Location
Written in Maupiti, our last stop in French Polynesia (S16.26.838 W152.14.690) and set to post while we’re underway on an 1,100+ mile passage to Pago Pago, American Samoa.  We hope to stop for some R&R at Suwarrow in the Cook Islands along the way, though we expect no wifi in that remote location.