©Taro fields in Avera|© Evaina Teinaore
Traditional agriculture

A stroll through the taro field in Rurutu

Polynesian ‘rice fields’

A plantation for everybody

Every family in Rurutu has its own taro plantation. If you want to know more about the plant, take a stroll through one of the taro fields and ask an islander. Then try some for yourself. You can eat it as fries, like potato chips, or simply boiled.



'Taro is to Rurutu what a baguette is to France! In other words, it’s a vital part of island life.'

A stroll through the taro fields

Take a stroll through the taro fields when you’re in Rurutu. You’ll see them everywhere, and the best ones are in Avera. Growing taro is hard work. Firstly, you have to dig the trenches, then dig the holes for the plant using an iron digging bar. After planting, you must cover the plants with mulch and make sure that they get plenty of water. The trenches serve as irrigation canals. The taro then takes about nine months to mature.

Like the potato, the taro is toxic if eaten uncooked. Fortunately, like the potato, there are lots of ways to cook it! Chips, fries, boiled, steamed… But unlike potatoes, you can eat all of the taro plant, even the leaves. Called fafa, the leaves are very much like spinach and are especially delicious in a dish called poulet fafa made from chicken and coconut milk. The typical local dish of Rurutu is called poi. The boiled taro is beaten to a pulp using a pestle, while gradually adding a little water. The resulting thick, sticky paste is as delicious as it is truly filling.


Feeling hungry?

Poi, chicken fafa, fries, chips…  How would you like your taro?
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