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A blend of Indian, African and French ingredients and cooking styles, Creole cuisine is a true taste of Mauritius. Here are some of the best Mauritian food experiences:
1. Table d’hote. These “hosts’ tables” are found in chambre d’hotes, essentially bed and breakfasts and family-run guesthouses. These intimate affairs will have you breaking bread with locals who welcome you with genuine hospitality and often a small nip of rum. Rougaille saucisse, sausages in a tomato sauce, biryani rice pilafs and all kinds of curry are sure to please.
2. Ti punch. The local cocktail of choice, ti punch’s combination of rum, sugar and limejuice can be quite strong. Recipes vary slightly by locale, but those with raw sugar and a dash of vanilla are particularly pleasant. Alternatively, fangourin or flavored cane juice is delightfully thirst quenching, and not at all as much of a sugar-rush as it sounds.
3. Gajacks. Mauritian snacks encompass all the authenticity and sensory delights of Indian street food with fortunately none of the dysentery. Feel free to browse among snack sellers, most easily found camped out by the beach, along the side of road or off newsstands. Favorites include dhal puris (thin crepes served with a spicy vegetable filling), gâteux piments (fried balls of lentils and chilis), boulettes (meatballs) and samosas.
4. Seafood. It should come as no surprise that the seafood on this Indian Ocean island is supreme. Cooking exotic seafood, like bourgeois or St. Brandon Berry fish, Creole style in a tomato sauce leaves the fish at its moistest. Fruits de mer, or shellfish, are also incredibly popular in vindaye or vindaloo sauces, with turmeric and mustard seed.
5. Local game. Many locations in Mauritius take their names from the deer that used to run wild on the island (Trou aux Biches, Île aux Cerfs), but now most of the island’s venison is farmed. Game meats with a reputation for toughness find new life in slow-cooked curries, often augmented by coconut cream. Keep an eye out for wild boar. Even rarer and likely off-menu is carri sauve souris, or fruit bat curry.