Mauritius has enjoyed a diversity of culture for hundreds of years. Much of that diversity is due to the occupation of other countries. Over time, the population of Mauritius has come to reflect the demographics of these other lands. It’s no surprise that the cuisine of the island nation has also come to reflect these influences. Today, the dishes are comprised of a rich blend of various foods from a host of cultures. This unlikely mixture fuses these influences to offer unique tastes that are exclusive to Mauritius. Below, we’ll describe the cultures that subtly manifest in the cuisine of the island. Then, we’ll offer a few notable restaurants to consider when eating out in Mauritius.
As Cultures Converge
Due largely to the French occupation of the island during the 1700′s, a Creole style of cooking is evident in the food. Dishes such as coq au vin served with a high quality wine signal the influence. Also palpable in the food are tastes strongly reminiscent of Chinese cuisine, a result of migrant workers from China coming to Mauritius during the late 1800′s. Indian cuisine is also an unmistakable influence, the product of indentured servants who arrived from India during the middle 1800′s. Finally, traces of European flavors are apparent in many dishes. This is likely due to a long history of exposure to several cultures over hundreds of years.
When eating out in Mauritius, you’ll find that some of the restaurants prefer to isolate the flavors from one particular style of cooking, effectively purifying the dishes from other ethnic influences. That being said, many restaurants revel in offering dishes that creatively blend each of the influences.
Restaurants Of Note
First, the small merchants who line the sidewalks in Mauritius and offer food to passersby are worth noting. Despite the presumed lack of hygiene, much of the food is incredibly tasty. Of course, if you’re eating out in Mauritius, you’ll want to reserve your appetite for the restaurants. They’re usually small with meager furnishings. However, don’t let that dissuade you as many of the best dishes can be found there. Here are 3 Mauritian restaurants that you should consider visiting:
#1 – The Amigo
If you enjoy seafood, visit the Amigo for a unique mixture of flavors from Creole and European cuisine.
#2 – Chez Manuel
The Chez Manuel has developed a reputation for delicious Chinese food. With the exception of their chinese fondue, the dishes are mostly pure from other culinary influences.
#3 – The Happy Rajah
The exquisitely marinated meat and carefully baked naan bread offer the tastes of Indian cuisine. Curries and stews are created to perfection with just the right balance of spices.
Enjoying The Flavors Of The Island
The flavors of the island nation’s food are as colorful as the cultures from which they spring. Eating out in Mauritius is an experience you’ll likely remember long after having returned home. Take the time to enjoy the unique dishes and flavors offered by the myriad of small, quaint restaurants on the island. You may find yourself returning to experience those flavors in the future.