We've arrived in French Polynesia in our Around the World in 12 Dishes

Create coconut bread as you explore French Polynesia with your kids in the kitchen.  We're traveling the world through activities and recipes and invite you to join the fun.

Learning about French Polynesia with Kids

Welcome back to "Around The World in 12 Dishes". We've arrived in French Polynesia on our journey around the world, (loosely) following in Phileas Fogg's footsteps, exploring 12 different countries with our children, by cooking 12 dishes with them. One for each country visited.
Here's where we've traveled so far on our Cooking Around the World.

Now we're heading to the beautiful islands of French Polynesia! 

Learning about French Polynesia with Kids

We decided to make Coconut Bread for our Dish.  It's a moist and sweet bread with very few ingredients.  According to our research Coconut Bread is popular at both breakfast and lunch on Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. The recipe we chose came from the cookbook Tahitian Island Cooking by Jean Galopin. We weren't able to find the book but would love to get our hands on it one day to find more Tahitian recipes. 

Tahitian Island Cooking by Jean Galopin.
Tahitian Coconut Bread
Cook Time: 35 minutes but you need to let the bread rise 3 hours first so plan ahead!
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of water
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 cups coconut milk
For the Recipe we followed Click hereHere's another version too!

My daughter was in charge of measuring all of the ingredients for this recipe.  They were pretty simple and I was there to assist her if she needed help.  Here she is pouring the water, measuring the flour, stiring the ingredients in both steps. 

Then the fun part begins when it's time to knead the bread.  She had fun getting sticky and gooey and learned that flour does help the process.  Although it might not be the most proper form of kneading, she really was starting to understand the process.  Then we waited and watched how the dough changed because of the yeast in it. We let it rise for 3 hours so we had some time for learning about the islands.   

Learning How Foods Were Brought to the Islands

While our bread was rising we took some time to talk about where the French Polynesia Islands are located.  We discovered how many islands there were.  My daughter still remembers her cruise to the Western Carribean from a few years ago so it was fun to talk with her about island hopping and all that there is to do and see on an island.  One of our day trips was focused on the foods of the islands, this was probably our most favorite of all the islands we visited. 

One thing that we talked about was how the food got to the island.  Since all the islands of French Polynesia are of volcanic origin, what created isolated and sparse islands, far away from any continent. Where could the food come from?  We discovered there were so many plants but that most of the the fruits and vegetables were imported and acclimated by people  There were two groups that sailed to the islands. 
  • Polynesian immigrants -who may have come from South-east Asia- brought on their canoes the typical fruits of their region that they needeed to survive during their long trip across the Pacific ocean : banana trees, coconut trees, bread fruit tress… Those plants are considered today by many people as indigenous.
  • European colonists then brought many species that they had gathered all around the world and acclimated them with success to the Polynesian climate. That is why we can find today in Polynesian gardens, orchads and moutains either European strawberries, African watermelons, Brazilian guava trees or grapefruits from Borneo…  
  • Source: The Tahiti Traveler

Painting of Tahitian Women on the Beach by Paul Gauguin—Musée d'Orsay
As I was looking up Tahiti facts I found this photo on Wikipedia.  I remember this painting hanging in my grandparents home as a child.  My grandparents has so many neat things in their home from around the world.  Do you parents share their travels with your children?        
We learned about the names of the Fruits and Vegetables that can be found on the islands. It was fun to see how many are also found in Florida and in India... all very close growing to the a similiar relation to the equator. We checked on our globe the latitude of each place we have family. Becky at Kid Citizen World inspired us with her post about food and Maps, go check it out.  See how much you can learn with cooking!
Once our bread was done rising we gently popped it into the oven for just 35 minutes.  When it came out of the oven my daughter was so excited that it really looked like bread that she made on her own.  We all had a taste test and it was so yummy.  I can imagine it with even some delicious island fruit on top for breakfast or lunch or perhaps with Amanda's Jam.   

We had so much fun making this bread together and learning about islands of French Polynesia.  We even checked out a few tahitan videos online and read a few books about the Islands.  Plus we made a small bungalow craft and a little science lesson about coconuts while dough was rising. Can't wait to share with you in a future posts! Now it's your turn to share with us! 

Around the World in 12 Dishes
<a href="http://www.glitteringmuffins.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1145.photobucket.com/albums/o502/theeducatorsspinonit/world.jpg" alt="Around the world in 12 Dishes" width="125" height="125" /></a>

How to join the fun!

  • The only mandatory part is the dish, the rest is all up to you, we just thought it would be fun and more concrete to the kids as to why we are making an unusual dish.
  • Cook a dish from French Polynesia: The goal is to explore this country through FOOD and activities if you wish. Make a typical dish (sweet or savoury) from the country with the kids, take photos and have fun!
  • Typical dishes: Poisson Cru, Poulet (Chicken) Fafa, Po’e, Pork Curry with Tarua (Taro), .
  • Print your passport: Click here to download, comes with space for a photo of the child with the dish. Here is a little cover for it if you wish.
  • Color a placemat: Once colored/painted or whatever other way you want to do this, you can laminate it or put it between clear contact paper to use it over and over. Great conversation piece for you and your kids. Click here to download it.
  • Make a craft: you can make a country related craft with the kids [optional!]
  • Fun fact: Those things that look like mail boxes outside the homes of Tahitian residents are not for mail, but for French bread delivery. Residents get a fresh loaf dropped off twice a day. But they must go to the post office to retrieve their mail!
  • Share with us: Our French Polynesia challenge starts on September 2nd and will remain open for a year, so attach a link to your blog to enter the linky party or go to the comment section and post a photo together with what you did together with your child(ren).
  • Pinterest: We will add your photos to a “Around the World in 12 Dishes” Pinterest Boards (one for the dishes, one for the crafts) you will be a great source of inspiration for everyone
  • Are you a blogger? Let your fans know about the challenge and grab our cute lil’ button to share it on your blog.

Just in case you're not quite ready for Summer to be over take one last peek at these beautiful islands of French Polynesia! 


Jill@MomsGoneGlobal said...

Love this! I am posting it on FB and pinning it. We are definitely trying out this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

Aisha G of HartlynKids said...

So adore this series! Congrats on your most "trip"

Ticia said...

Doesn't the picture on that video look gorgeous? I almost want to go there now :)

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks for sharing Jill. Other than the long rising time it was pretty easy to follow. It was a fun science experient watching the bread rise.

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks Aisha! It's been fun, hope you'll join along with us and share on our link up.

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Ticia after doing research with my daughter it's now been added to my dream list of vacations. Sooo beautiful. My daughter gets the giggles everytime she says Bora Bora now, too funny.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom said...

What a great unit you put together! I am pinning this to use later on in the school year. Making bread with my kids is one of my favorite things to do! Although my daughter's enthusiasm and strength tend to overpower the bread when it comes to a kneading stage. I also agree with Ticia that the image on the video makes me want to go visit now! Thank you for linking up with my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop!

A Fresh Start to Making Ends Meet said...

This looks fabulous!!! I am sure it tasted just as good. In a book the kiddos and I read many moons ago we had a bread similar to this, but it was made with corn meal. Have fun with your kiddos and your around the world journey!

alldonemonkey.com said...

This looks delicious! And I love how you tied it into science as well as geography, culture, and history. Thanks for sharing on the Culture Swapper!

Valerie @ Glittering Muffins said...

Awesome post as usual! So complete, love it :D

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