When someone mentions Mauritius, the picture that probably comes to mind is a post-card-perfect beach with powdery white sand and clear waters that carry on as far as the eye can see. While it’s not hard to understand why this is the first thing that comes to mind, Mauritian cuisine should also be at the top of the list. After a trip to the island, you’re just as likely to be chatting about the food as you are the beaches and amazing pastimes. Here’s what else you should know about Mauritius’ dishes.
All the world’s a stage
When it comes to Mauritius, the food is served as you like it. Chances are you won’t dream up a dish that can’t be created. The best part about Mauritian cuisine is its many influences that come from the island's diverse history, Creole, French, Chinese and Indian being the main ones. This mishmash is exactly what makes the food so great and the Mauritians have definitely mastered their food art.
With so many cultures influencing Mauritius and so many dishes to choose from, it’s tough to pick just one dish to recommend. But if we had to choose one it would definitely be a Mauritian curry. Although Mauritian curry has a similar base to the Durban curries one might be more familiar with, it has quite a different flavour. Tomato-based curries are typically not spicy, while the more Indian-inspired ones pack a bit of a punch. The beauty of the Mauritian curry is that it has a bit of both! Octopus curry in particular is popular on the island, and is definitely worth trying even if only to say “I’ve had octopus curry!”.
Better than beaches
Another key ingredient in Mauritius’ tastebud-tickling cuisine is the soil (don’t worry, it’s not what it sounds like). The island’s fertile soil means that local produce is incredible. Vegetables are “super-sized” and the fruit is juicy and sweet. Living up to the great standards set by the land, are those of the sea. Fresh seafood is our recommended go-to when you’re stuck on what to order, and it can often be enjoyed overlooking the ocean. Combine the delight of fresh seafood with the French influence and you have one of the most popular dishes on the island, tuna salad; pair it with a chilled glass of white wine and you’ll be in heaven.
Rum away with me
You can’t talk about Mauritius’ food and drinks without mentioning rum. Three of the distilleries on the island make rum the proper way, which is from sugar cane instead of molasses. This is no surprise considering sugar’s very own history on this island. Over and above being made with sugar cane, most of the rums are sweetened with sugar and come in flavours such as vanilla, coffee, citrus fruit and more, so even if you’re not a massive fan of rum, chances are you’ll still find it palatable and will be able to enjoy a taste of this island favourite without grimacing.
If you are the type of traveller who doesn't necessarily like to eat like the locals, you will be pleased to find foods you are a little more used to. From burgers to Italian food, some familiar favourites are never too far away. But as they say, you only live once, so we recommend that when you visit Mauritius - going all-in for the Mauritian foodie experience; try as many rums, curries, seafood and Asian cuisine as you can while you soak up all the other island wonders Mauritius has to offer. When you return from your trip, you'll see for yourself: the food will be one of the things you miss the most.
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