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Mauritian Cuisine and Recipes

Mauritian Recipes, Food and Cooking

Cooking by Country - January 2003

 

Scroll down for Traditional Recipes from Mauritius

 

 

Go to:-    Mauritius Featured Ingredient Mauritius Speciality Dish  | Cooking by Country Main Page

 

Mauritius is a small island situated in the Indian Ocean, about 2400 kilometres off the South East Coast of Africa. The diverse mixture of its people is reflected in its cuisine.  African, French,  Indian and Chinese are among them and ideas and techniques from all of these feature strongly in this eclectic cuisine.

 

 

Ancient Times, History and Influences on Mauritian Cooking

 

Unlike many other countries featured in the Cooking by Country section, Mauritius was uninhabited until the Portuguese landed there in about 1500. However, it was the Dutch who showed the first real interest in the island in 1598.

 

The first Dutch settlement didn't take place until 1638 and they only stayed for a short while, until 1710. During this time they introduced sugar-cane, domestic animals, deer and slavery to the islands. The import of peoples from East Africa and Madagascar together with their culinary customs, saw the beginnings of one of the best examples of fusion cookery in the world today.

 

By 1715, the French had occupied the island and stayed for almost 100 years and during this time, the French-Creole dynasty greatly influenced the ways in which foods were prepared and eaten. 

 

In 1810 the British captured the islands and in 1835, they abolished slavery which led to the importation of indentured workers from India to work on the sugar cane plantations. They too brought their culinary customs to Mauritius. So much so, that some may say that curry is the national dish of Mauritius.

 

Current Day Mauritian Cuisine

 

It wasn't until the late 19th Century that the Chinese influence appeared with Hakka and Cantonese people settling on the island mainly for trade purposes, completing the East meets West culture found in Mauritius today.

 

Fish and seafood are popular ingredients as are the abundant variety of locally grown fruit such as papayas, passion fruit, guavas, mangoes, lychees, bananas, pineapple and coconut.

 

Click here for lots of Mauritian Recipes

 

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