3 weeks ago (I cannot believe it has been that long – take me back). Ross and I went to Mauritius for a holiday with family and friends. As you may know, I love food and all that goes with food – from the markets where you buy the food to the kitchens that make the food, it really excites me. In case you missed it last week have a look at the beautiful food market we visited in Port Louis. I had then seen the market where most locals buy their fresh produce but then I wanted to know what they did with that gorgeous produce including preparation and cooking.
Mauritius economy is run on tourism and sugar. Wherever you go you in Mauritius you will drive through large plantations of sugar cane. You will more often than not be stuck behind a sugar cane truck or you will drive past a man on a motorbike holding a bunch of sugar cane – it is a huge commodity. There is a wonderful sugar museum in Grand Baie where you can see how they make the sugar and taste the different sugars including molasses sugar, demerara sugar and white sugar (to name a few).
Mauritius local food includes a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and seafood. The flavours are heavily inspired by French and Indian cuisines. Curry is a common dish in Mauritius – specifically seafood curry e.g. Fish curry, Octopus Curry or Crab curry (to name a few).
Rum is also a popular item in Mauritius. The cheaper local brand is called Green Island – I would not suggest this brand (there are rumours that it can make you go blind if you drink too much of it). My suggestion would be to try New Grove Rum. This rum is wonderful and smooth and comes in a variety of flavours – my favourite is the vanilla infused Rum – it is perfect to sip on after dinner.
My top must try dishes in Mauritius…
- Local Mauritian Seafood Curry (including Octopus, Crab and/or Prawn)
- A coconut cut and prepared for you on the side of the road
- A “spiralling” pineapple. These are incredible – there is not one blemish on them and they look like they have been cut by a machine not by hand with a small knife.
- Vegetable Pickle. The pickle includes carrot, cabbage, green beans, ginger, garlic and cauliflower. It is a super tasty condiment/side to most dishes (especially the curry)
- Rum. Mauritius is known for their rum – it was first made as a by-product of the sugar processing. The local rum is called Green Island – however I would not suggest this rum rather splurge a bit more and buy New Grove (The Vanilla infused is my favourite)
* The above red fruit are raspberries – they are enormous.
I adored the local food and my sister in law took us to a local restaurant where we were treated to the most unbelievable local food which included…
- Fish Carpaccio
- I would fly back to Mauritius over and over again for this dish. I can quite convincingly say that I have never had anything so tasty and amazing ever. The dish was dorado cut into very thin slices and pickled in lemon juice (and other magic ingredients that made my mouth explode and my heart sing with happiness)
- Pickled Octopus
- Octopus is very popular in Mauritius and they treat this ingredient with huge respect. I never thought I would enjoy this as much as I did. I thought it would be slimy but rather a beautiful soft texture with complimentary spicy flavours.
- Crab Curry
- All that was missing from this dish was an apron. The dish came with a full crab (shells & pincers included) and a few little metal tools including a small fork and shell cracker to allow us to get into the soft meat of the crab. The sauce was thick and super tasty and the crab meat soft and perfectly cooked.
- Crispy Calamari
- Deep fried calamari – enough said
- Spicy Rum
- Rum infused with cinnamon, citrus and vanilla. The perfect way to end a meal sipping on this while enjoying the view and special company.
* This last holiday I really did not take a lot of photographs so excuse the “phone pics”.