Food in Mauritius
Gastronomes will find a variety of tastes and flavours inherited from different migrations throughout history. Culinary traditions from France, India, China and Africa have been passed down through generations.
Depending on the region, rice or a type of flatbread called chapattis or roti, called farata (paratha) by the locals, is eaten with the curries. Extensive use of spices such as saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and herbs such as thyme, basil and curry leaves are the usual ingredients that provide a strong yet subtle flavour. Dal, a type of lentil soup, comes in many variations depending on which variety of lentil is used; vegetables, beans and pickles accompany the dishes. Dholl puri and roti, originally an Indian delicacy, have become the fish and chips of Mauritanians.
Biryani originates from the Mughal Empire and is a dish prepared by the Muslim community in which meat is mixed with spiced rice and potatoes.
You can buy many snacks on the streets of Mauritius, including the famous pimento tarts (a variation of the Indian vadai; literally, chilli cake) and vegetable or meat samosas (puffs), along with octopus curry in bread. Rougeille (pronounced rooh-guy), a dish prepared with a base of tomatoes and onions, is a variant of French ragout. All Mauritius eat this dish frequently, if not daily, as the dish typically is composed of meat or seafood (rougaille of corned beef and salted snook fish is a favorite among the locals).
Mauritanians have a sweet tooth and make many types of “tarts” as they are called. The tarts vary and one finds tarts that are very similar to those in France and others that resemble Indian sweets such as gulab jamun and rasgulla among many others.
When you leave Mauritius, don’t wait until you go through passport control if you want a snack. The coffee shop after passport control is not cheap. It is better to visit the snack bar before you check in and take your purchases with you. However, remember that you can only take a limited amount of liquids with you through passport control due to liquids, aerosols and gels regulations.
Drinks in Mauritius
Mauritius produces a wide range of sugar cane rum. It is very cheap and makes a nice drink when mixed with cola and ice. A popular drink is coconut water with a squeeze of lime and a splash of local rum on ice.
A pint of local beer, Phoenix, costs about 30 MUR. Usually it is served very cold. Black Eagle, a locally brewed beer produced in Nouvelle-France, is also excellent.