The majority of people who have heard of Mauritius think of white beaches, azure sea and a lush, tropical climate. This is the place to go for sun-worshipping and water sports galore. But here’s a question that for many is one of the most important- what’s the food like?
Mauritius has a huge mix of cultures and religions living alongside each other in tranquility. It is quite normal to see a Hindu temple, then a Buddhist worship site, followed by a small church in the same street. Neighbours display different coloured flags outside their houses to represent each religion.
Much like the mix of people, the food in Mauritius is a fusion of so many types of cuisine, creating really distinct and exciting flavours.
With so much choice and so many great options, it’s difficult to know what to try. I have put together a shortlist of food to try and inspiration from some of the resorts that I think will add real spice and sweetness to your holiday.
Mauritian seafood is totally mouthwatering and it doesn’t get much fresher than this! Many of the hotels present specials every day, so you can dig into Lobster curry with wasabi at The Residence or try beautifully tender, barbecued Carangue fish with grilled vegetables and spicy sauce at The St Regis– zing!
‘Millionaire salad’ is a local dish that uses heart of palm. The Four Seasons serves this dish with smoked Marlin and a citrus dressing for a really refreshing and zesty salad. It takes 5 years for a palm tree to grow and only the heart of the tree is used for this salad- so it really is a specialty!
Curries are amazing here and there is such a big range. Creole curries have more of a tomato flavour, but you can get much spicier or creamier Indian-style curries too. The Four Seasons presents traditional dishes such as chicken & prawn curry served with Farata (Indian bread), lentils & sambals (a hot chilli paste) of basmati rice. The Indian Pavilion Restaurant at Le Saint Géran takes guests on a wonderful culinary journey and constantly updates the tasting menu so guests can experience a bit of everything.
For those of you that aren’t keen on spice you’ve still got plenty of options. Mauritius has old colonial roots and because of this the island has taken European tastes on board. French food inspires a lot of the dishes but Italian is really popular too. For western flavours the Constance- Le Prince Maurice has some excellent classic western dishes and caters for special dietary requirements too. (I’m still thankful for my brilliant gluten-free pasta!) This resort also has an exceptional wine cellar with 22,000 different kinds of wine to compliment your meal.
If you’re a meat fan, LUX Belle Mare has a fabulous selection of steaks grilled in the special Josper oven. For dessert, you cannot miss the stupor-inducing chocolate calzone which might just make you fall in love.
A note on fruit
I have returned from my trip to Mauritius with enormous grapefruit cravings. The glorious pink ‘Pamplemousse’ is some of the best I’ve tried. Succulent, juicy and vitamin-packed this fruit can be found at any of the resort breakfasts. The nutrient-packed soil has produced some of the most outstanding tropical fruit, with pineapples and coconuts another island delight. More grapefruit please!
A note on rum
The Mauritians have made full use of the sugar plantations that span their country. You can try rum in a myriad of flavours at The Rum Shack in LUX Belle Mare. From vanilla and chilli to chocolate or even passionfruit, you might get carried away and try a few too many, but it’s ok- you’re on holiday!
Mauritius is a foodie-heaven and a fun place to try out new kinds of cuisine. Local flavours mix with food from so many parts of the world. The sweet fruit, aromatic curries, seafood and a unique take on European dishes will compliment your stay and may even add some sunny inspiration to your own cooking on your return home.