gastronomie_plats15_creole_-_credit_irt_-_studio_lumiere_dts_03_2016.jpgPhotographePhotographe© Studio Lumière
© Studio Lumière

French pastries and Créole cari

I love travelling because I love trying new culinary specialities. So I was really enthusiastic about trying my hand at Créole cuisine. When I travel, I only eat local dishes and I was really looking forward to trying the flavours of Reunion Island.

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Lynnette

The locals eat a lot of beans, rice and “cari”, a dish made with meat or fish with tomatoes, onions, garlic and turmeric. People here also love a variety of tapas like samosas, “bouchons” and “bonbons piment” (similar to falafels).

Among my favourite dishes here is grilled chicken in a baguette, with a Dodo beer on the side of the road. The Créole culture of Reunion Island is fascinating. A large share of the island’s inhabitants has Indian, Chinese, Malagasy or French origin. The island’s cuisine represents this rich heritage. I could eat hundreds of “bouchons”. This sort of Chinese ravioli is made from pork and Créole spices.

My favourite dish is sausage rougail (spicy sausages, onions, tomatoes and spices) and a spicy sauce made with green mangoes. This speciality is served with the basic Reunion Island accompaniment, beans and rice.

Breakfast here is very similar to breakfast on mainland France: Natalie would generally serve us with delicious pastries, croissants straight out of the oven, baguette, fresh fruit and black coffee.

 

Given the culinary heritage, a lot of the local dishes are based on South-African traditions because it’s a former slave colony that welcomed people from countries all over the world, namely Malaysia and India. The spices and flavours are influenced by India and South-East-Asia, as well as South Africa. They have their very own version of the “gatsby”, a local speciality from Cape Town: a big piece of baguette stuffed with chips, lettuce and either a burger, chicken or squid. The Créole version is a baguette filled with “bouchons” covered in melted cheese and sauce.

After my trip to the island, I started cooking with vanilla, and trying difference recipes with fish or shellfish.