When Tahitian families, relatives, and friends gather together, they prepare this large meal. For its preparation, they use a traditional underground "oven" which is, in fact, a big pit dug in the ground. Inside locals place layered wood and porous volcanic stones to be used for the BBQ.
When the temperature in the oven is adequate, the stones are covered with banana leaves. Before the food is placed in the oven, it is wrapped in banana leaves too. Then, the pit with food is filled with sand on top.
Ma’a Tahiti is a year-round treat. It's also a must at the Tahitian New Year celebration. As for the components of the New Year dish, they include steamed root crops like “taro,” “uru” (breadfruit), yams or sweet potatoes, fish, and meat like pork or mutton.