by Ian Noel
You can live on this stuff
I was spending Christmas on Rarotonga in 2009 and spent many hours wandering thru these markets.
I tried my first Ika Mata at the Punanga Nui Cultural markets at a place called the Red Hut.
The fish was marinated in Lime juices and coconut cream. If you like the raw fish taste and texture of sashimi then Ika Mata is one for you.
Funny thing that happened was I was given a dish of goat meat and when I has finished , a local boy teased me that the goat meat cooked in curry was actually the pet dog. I was horrified and immediately felt nauseous. My new friend kindly put me out of my misery and admitted he was kidding – on reflection; I should be more open to all kinds of food.
What we take as acceptable meat to cook is different in all cultures.
I would like to send out a big Hi to The golden oldies Rugby Team in Rarotonga the Mongoose Team that entertained me at one of their local Saturday night feasts ( Pot Luck ) which is where everyone comes along with a plate of food they have prepared at home and adds it to the long table. We had a great Saturday night of dancing and local guitars and singing and plenty of amber fluid at their local watering hole – aka Roses Garden .
I had the local curried goat dish at the function – seeing that I did have it at the market, and it was fantastic, after the first mishap in understanding (the local joker ) .
Curried octopus was on the feast and a fabulous array of local root crops of Taro, Sweet Potato (Kumara) and Arrowroot (Maniota).
I cant wait to return