A day in the boots of a farming family.

A visit to a farm and creole cooking.
  • Intensely Authentic
  • Land of mist
Une Journee Dans Les Bottes. Irt@lapetitecreole Dt 092023 33Une Journee Dans Les Bottes. Irt@lapetitecreole Dt 092023 33
©Une Journee Dans Les Bottes. Irt@lapetitecreole Dt 092023 33
Meet Julie and Varadan

An unforgettable experience at the Yabars’ farm: a day of farming, traditions and the flavours of Reunion Island.

Reunion Island is:

1,001 colours, 1,001 flavours, 1,001 cultures.

Your perfect day:

A day with my family, just enjoying each other’s company.

Your favourite place:

The seafront in Saint-Pierre to grab a bite to eat after work.

Your passion:

I feel lucky to be able to share this lifestyle, embracing the land and its traditions.

Your favouriste meal:

Chicken cari with black garlic.

Your favourite artist:

Kenaelle, because we chose the song ‘Bondié’ as our wedding song.

We enjoyed an authentic, gourmet experience at the Yabars’ farm up in the Reunion Island highlands in Le Grand Tampon. We were welcomed by Julie, the ‘Yab’* and Varadan, the ‘Malbar’**, who combined their names, giving themselves the cute nickname, the ‘Yabars’. They showed us how a typical Reunion Island family farm is run on a daily basis. We were about to embark upon a day full of discoveries, shared experiences and flavours.

Our experience began with a delicious ‘risofé’, a traditional heated rice dish prepared the day before and eaten for breakfast on Reunion Island. “We’ve put some organic products from our farm out for you, which we made ourselves, such as jam or galabé” says Julie. “Enjoy, make yourselves at home!

We were given such a warm welcome, and we felt as if we were part of the family, in a friendly and inviting atmosphere. After this hearty breakfast, we set off to explore the farm with Julie and Varadan. There was a breathtaking view of the coast, and the cool air of the highlands made this exploration particularly enjoyable.

The two farmers shared their passion for the land and terroir of Reunion Island with us. It was such a pleasurable experience enjoying the wonderful tastes and scents of Reunion Island products. As we wandered around the fields and greenhouses, we discovered Bissap flowers, Victoria pineapples and Buddha’s hand.

Reunion Island products freshly picked for today’s lunch.

But we weren’t there just for a stroll! We also had to collect the ingredients to make lunch, including lemons, bushy lippia and ‘brèdes chouchou’.  We picked out the leaves ourselves that the locals of Reunion Island love to eat as a ‘fricassé’ dish. Before heading back to the kitchen, we stopped off to cut some sugar cane which we then pressed to extract the fresh and delicately sweet juice. We toasted to this great experience! Cheers!

It was time to prepare the lunchtime meal in the kitchen. The whole Yabar family came together as Julie’s sister and mother joined us and showed us how to sort the ‘brèdes’, then we started cooking them using the typical Creole-style wood-fired oven. The scents were mouth-watering!

 

The flavours of Reunion Island on our plate

It was soon time to serve up lunch and taste these Creole dishes that we helped make. “We’ve left the pans on the stove so help yourselves and don’t hesitate to go back for more”, said the farming family with a laugh. As well as the ‘brèdes’, we also enjoyed a chicken cari, the iconic dish of Reunion Island, served with rice, grains and spicy rougail. Each mouthful was an explosion of flavour, whisking us away on a gourmet voyage to the heart of Reunion Island.

After coffee and a selection of local ‘péi’ cakes for dessert, our experience ended on a festive, musical note. Julie and Varadan told us all about the traditional music of Reunion Island. “Séga and Maloya are made to be enjoyed and to dance to! Pick an outfit and ‘alon dansé’ (let’s dance)”, they said.

When it was time to leave, we thanked the Yabar family for this wonderful day spent together, discovering Reunion Island farming and cuisine. We can safely say that their passion is reflected in each dish, each movement and each smile throughout the day.

 

*Meaning ‘Petit-Blanc des Hauts’ (second group of inhabitants to flee slavery in the highlands)

**Term for Hindus of Reunion Island, originally from South India.

 

An enjoyable outing on a 100% organic, family-run farm.

A chance to discover exclusive and original farm products such as black garlic.

An authentic Creole meal with the Yabar family.