Food and Agriculture in Mauritius

Traditional Foods Are: Foods in their original form, as they were Created-- not modernized, not processed or not packaged. They may be Foods that have a long history of supporting to good health, whole and nutrient-dense. Foods that are simple and basic: meat and poultry, eggs, whole grains, fish, beans and legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, dairy, fats. The cuisine of Mauritius is a blend of Creole, Chinese, European and Indian influences. It is common for a combination of cuisines to form part of the same meal.

Mauritius has had strong ties with French culture throughout its history and was left with a very French "savoir vivre". Even today, the popularity of French dishes like the bouillon, tuna salad,daube, show the prevalence of French culture in Mauritius. As years passed by, some have been adapted to the more exotic ingredients of the island to confer some unique flavor. During the 19th century, after the abolition of slavery, Indian workers who migrated to Mauritius brought their cuisine with them.

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Those indentured labourers came with their own culinary tradition, depending on the region. Traces of both Northern and Southern Indian cuisine can be found in Mauritius. Some common preparations are curry, chutney, rougaille(tomato paste that is very popular with fish) and pickles, most of which use local ingredients. The Mauritian versions of those dishes have a local flavour and differ, at times considerably, from the original Indian recipes. The end of the 19th century saw the arrival of Chinese migrants, who came mostly from the south-eastern part of China.

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They are largely credited with making rice, the staple diet of the island, and making noodles, both steamed and fried, popular. Chinese appetizers such as hakien (local version of the spring roll with a flour batter replacing the traditional rolled wrapping), crispy chicken and crispy squid have become part of the Mauritian folklore. Furthermore, Chinese and other Asian restaurants are present all around the island, and offer a variety of chicken, squid, beef, mutton andfish dishes, most typically prepared in black bean sauce or oyster sauce.

Mauritian families often consider a dinner at an Asian restaurant as a treat. Along the years, each of the country's communities have adapted and mixed each other's cuisine to their liking. Mauritian ‘street food’: For most Mauritians, daily practice is to eat during the daytime on the street sides, street stalls or in small local restaurants. This is a recommended way for the tourist to discover the local traditional food, enjoying the tastes of Mauritius and do so at cheap prices. Very popular common “street food” is the Indian specialties of "dholl puries" or "rotis".

In the big cities you will also find many stalls offering Chinese noodles. You will also find the gato piment, samousas, kebabs, bryanis. There’s also the fruit saladwhich which consists of cucumber, pineapple, apple, tamarind and chilli sauce. And also coconut water that tourists like drinking. These usuallyfound on the beaches. But The hygiene in many of the stalls may be below average and may cause problems to those with a sensitive stomach, so when choosing the street stalls be sure that the place is hygiene and the food is fresh and not exposed to the sun.

Fast foods in mauritius: Another alternative is to go to one of the many fast food joints which can be found in every town and in the main villages. The number of the fast food joints has increased drastically in the last few years, and today it is possible to find many international fast food chains such as: McDonalds, KFC, Burger king, Pizza Hut, next to local fast food brands. You can find fast food serving hamburgers, pizzas, Indian food, chicken, and many more. Additional rather cheap alternative to dine out is the Chinese restaurants.

These restaurants can be found in all the tourist’s areas and also in the city centers. You can find there delicious Chinese and Creole food, including also alcoholic drinks at rather low prices in comparison to other restaurants. Mauritius Restaurants and hotels There are many beach restaurants, village restaurants and many modern style restaurants in the main tourist’s areas and in the city centers offering selection of specific cuisines: Italian, Chinese, French, Japanese, Mexican, Mediterranean etc, and restaurants focusing on specific food types (seafood, teak and grill, vegetarian etc).

Today in the hotels and also in the tourists centers, it is possible to find a big selection of restaurants which offer an extensive range of different cuisines. : types of religious food: Food is an important part of religious observance and spiritual ritual for many faiths including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The role of food in cultural practices and religious beliefs is complex and varies among individuals and communities.

Mauritius is one of the rare countries that is made up of the different traditions and customs of those who have settled on this remote island during the last 400 years. The unique blend of European, Indian, Chinese, African and Arab culture is evident in all aspects of Mauritian life: there are fesitvals like chineese festivals where: eid-dul-fitr bryani is commonly cooked, during easter chocolate is mostly eaten. On ougadi a special chutney is prepared which consists 6 different tastes and each ingredient represent (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust and surprise).

The different tastes, symbolises the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences. Cavadee lemon juice is prepared. Agriculture in mauritius: The production of rum is common throughout the island. [citation needed] Sugar cane was first introduced on the island when the Dutch colonised it in 1638. Even then, the propensity of making rum out of sugar cane was strongly recognised. Sugar cane was mainly cultivated for the production of "arrack", a precursor to rum.

Only much later, after almost 60 years, the first proper sugar was produced. citation needed] However, it was during the French and English administration that sugar production was fully exploited, which considerably contributed to the economical development of the island. [citation needed]It was Pierre Charles Francois Harel who in 1850 initially proposed the concept of local distillation of rum in Mauritius. Agriculture today: The agricultural sector in Mauritius is very much dominated by sugar. Ever since The cultivation of sugar was introduced by the Dutch in the 17th century, sugar and agriculture have been the backbone of the economy.

Even today, in spite of tremendous efforts in industrialising and diversifying the economy, sugar remains an essential component. Though in terms of foreign earnings, it has been overtaken by both the export of wearing apparel and tourism, in terms of plus value and employment it is of the greatest importance. The importance of sugar and other agricultural activities to the island can be gauged by the simple fact that around 45% of the island is covered with sugarcane fields and about 4% is for other diverse agricultural activities.

In the 60’s there were about 25 sugar factories, by 1990 it had dropped to 19, in 1995 there were 17 left and in 2001 there were only 16 still operating. But today it has been centralised. That is there is only four sugar factories;one in the north south east and west on the island.

The vegetable crops that produced in Mauritius are , maize, onion, garlic, potato, tomatoes, carrots,chiles, green leafy vegetables, egg plants. There are also herbs like thym, mint, parsely and corriander. the local fruits that are produced are pineapple, letchis, mangoes, papaya, goyavas . hese fuits and vegetable are mostly sold freshly in the market but those that are sold in the hypermarket maynot be fresh at times. Some people in mauritius prefer growing vegetables for their own consuption and this can help them to save and also assure them that the vegetables are fresh. The factors that affect the crops is mostly the weather. The fruits and vegetable can be sold at cheaper prices if they are in season. But it become rather expensive when the crops have been badly affected by acyclone or when it is off season.

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Food and Agriculture in Mauritius. (2016, Dec 15). Retrieved from

Food and Agriculture in Mauritius
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