The most important tip I can give you on Cook Islands local food, and the only one that will make you elevate from being a tourist to becoming a real traveler immersed in the local culture, is “Stay away from McDonalds“. When visiting Cook Islands, there is awesome local food to try. Head to the local eateries too, and go where the locals go. For me, the food, wine and and even the water is part of the travel experience.
What to Eat in Cook Islands
Don’t eat pizza in the Cook Islands before you have tried the local stuff (which is admittedly hard to find): ika mata (raw fish) with coconut milk, finely chopped vegetables.
It is delicious! umu food (prepared in the traditional earth oven) curried eke (octopus in coconut curry) rukau (Taro leaves, usually cooked with coconut cream) poke (cooked fruit pudding) (banana, pawpaw,…) with coconut milk. Some of these are available every day at the market in Avarua. Every 2 weeks there is a “Go Local” market where locals sell their products.
What to Drink in
There are 2 Microbreweries ( Matutu and Cook Islands Brewery ) which both produce a range of delicious beers. Matutu brewery (just few km south of Muri Beach) can be visited for a tour.
Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.