About the food of Mauritius

Panoramic photo of Mauritius, by Clément Larher.

Just when you feel isolated, remote, and alone – like no one can possibly understand the way you are feeling, geography comes to the rescue. Way out in the Indian ocean lives Mauritius – an African country even more remote than Madagascar and totally teeny, tiny. If you study this “dot” amidst the crashing waves, you’ll find crags and cliffs, turquoise water and rusty rainbow soil.

For all her solitude, she is so beautiful. So intricate.

How can we feel alone when this exists? It’s like the earth herself is giggling…

Seven colored earth in Chamarel, Mauritius caused by volcanic erosion. These rolling dunes are red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. They never erode in spite of torrential downpours and adverse climatic conditions. Photo by Moongateclimber.

While I thought I would have trouble finding information on Mauritius, I could not have been more wrong. I learned on Food Safari that there is a healthy group of Australians who love and enjoy Mauritian food. In fact, there are entire restaurants there devoted to the food of Mauritius.

So what is so magnetic about this food that it has crossed an entire ocean and firmly implanted itself into the hearts of complete strangers?

An amalgamation of flavors. A delectable melting pot.  Take Indian food, African food, Chinese, and French food – shake it up all up with a few island smiles, and there you have it.

Mauritian kids. Photo by Avinash Meetoo.

One dish that shows off the melting pot of flavors is rougaille – a rustic tomato sauce prepared with ginger, hot peppers, and cilantro [Recipe]. Sometimes white wine gets splashed in as well. Talk about worlds colliding!  For most people this rougaille is daily fare and can be served plain with rice, or mixed up with fish, sausage, or chicken.

Then there are curries galore, and a list of Indian flatbreads and French baguettes [recipe] to enjoy alongside them. There are a boatload of Indian fritters [Recipe], sometimes stuffed inside a buttered baguette.

Mauritius. Photo by Hansueli Krapf.

It makes me smile to know that I am just as likely to find fried rice and spring rolls as curries and cassoulets. Perhaps this abundance and variety is what has captured the hearts of so many.

Let’s ponder it over dessert, shall we? We can enjoy tropical fruit or French pastries, including lattice laced banana tarts [Recipeand fruity napolitaines. Then maybe we can sit by the sea and sip a spot of juice, coffee, tea, or alooda (a cold milk drink made with basil seeds and thickened with agar agar).


Maps and flag courtesy CIA World Factbook.


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