Mauritian cuisine amazes by its diversity, thanks to its rich cultural heritage. In addition to the well-kept secrets of our grandmothers, there are also the out-of-the-ordinary dishes that Mauritians particularly enjoy. Indeed, each Mauritian family has its own recipes passed on by our ancestors who alone knew how to cook a special dish; Mauritian cuisine made to the feeling and inspiration of the moment. As a result, a plain “cari poule” (chicken curry) will have different tastes depending on the family’s origins, not to mention the little secrets that are only disclosed to close relatives.
Thus, during a boat trip to Ile aux Bénitiers, you can find in the lagoon, a Hache d’ armes or pinna nobilis, a triangular axe-shaped shell, buried in the sand. If you step on it, you could harm yourself because of its sharpness. Surprisingly, our local fishermen would easily walk barefoot in the sea, apparently because they simply “know how to walk on those shells”, they proudly say. Surprisingly, the flesh of this not so appealing mollusc, is enjoyed here as a curry or stew (“salmi” for Mauritians).
You might be surprised to learn that in Mauritius, eggs can also be eaten curry style, peels of a ridge gourd as a delicious chutney, green papayas are served as a tasty gratin whereas taro leaves cooked in a well-spiced stew are a delight with our “faratas” (parathas). Did you know that our green olives are not eaten as an aperitif as we usually make jam and pickles out of them? Our “gato pima” (chili fritters) are also popular sandwiched with butter and that we enjoy a stir-fry of green banana peels with salted fish!
We also need to mention the specialties that can only be found in Mauritius, such as our napolitains (small shortbread cakes covered with icing sugar), our puits d’amour (tartlet with pastry cream covered with coconut), and our must-have street-food, the dholl puri (a kind of salted crepe of split peas) which is unanimously acclaimed by our visitors.
Finally, as you will have understood, besides everything else that the destination can offer, Mauritius is undoubtedly a gourmet stopover to discover. The authenticity of the island is also felt in our tempting plates. So … do not hesitate to spice up your holidays!