Saturday, July 16, 2011

Checking out the food of New Caledonia

For the past couple of weeks I have been exploring New Caledonia, a stone's throw (2 hours flight) from Brisbane yet so unknown as a holiday destination for Australians. It is a real little piece of France out in the Pacific with very little English spoken once you are outside of Noumea. I was really interested to see what people were growing and eating on this tropical island. There were heaps of coconuts everywhere yet we didn't get to eat any of it......seemed like a wasted resource to me. I kept hoping some entrepreneurial local would have a little roadside stall selling green coconut milk but I was sadly disappointed. If only I had been carrying a screw driver with me so that I could get the husk off like I used to do when I lived in Mackay.
Also surprisingly, a lot of food is imported from France. The only cheese we could find anywhere (except for the tiny farm we passed which was closed) was all from France. All the milk we had tasted like UHT milk, so I guess this cow we saw tethered near a beach in the deep south east, must have just been for local use.
Seafood was certainly in abundance and a trip to the Noumea seafood market was mouth watering. So much to choose from : mussels, prawns, crayfish, and a huge variety of reef fish. Check out the huge chunks of fresh tuna on display!


       The other interesting crop we saw was some vanilla growing in a private garden. It was nice to try some proper vanilla ice cream in a nearby restaurant that night. There were lots of roadside stalls all over the main island but choice was pretty limited-  yams, passionfruit, oranges and occasional bananas.

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