Gastronomic delights

  • Gastronomic delights

    © Jonas Akhoun - Studio Lumière

    Gastronomic delights

    © Jonas Akhoun - Studio Lumière

Gastronomic delights Saint Denis re

Reunion is an island which loves food

Take a kernel of French culture, add a pinch of Malagasy custom, a hint of Chinese flair, a touch of Indian flavour and you have the ingredients for a unique menu.

Samoosas and “bouchons”: fusion from the very start of the meal. A golden triangle crunched in your mouth, the flavours in the filling overwhelm your palate. Originally from India, the samosa is an ideal accompaniment for a flavoured punch. While the “bouchons”, meatballs wrapped in a soft rice dough, come from China. “Bonbons piments”, hot candied peppers prepared with broad beans, are also part of the Creole tapas table. They are sold everywhere: in  truck-stop bars, in the markets and so on.

Creole hors-d'oeuvres

Palm salad is prepared with a variety of small palm trees which used to grow wild and which almost disappeared from over-harvesting.

The “chouchou”, a squash-type vegetable also known as chayote or christophene, grows under trellises which cover the slopes of the cirque de Salazie. Smoked fish from the tropics: the harvest from deep-sea fishing (swordfish, blue marlin, tuna, dorado, etc.) off the coast of Reunion Island. Rice, grains, rougail: the traditional Réunionnaise culinary trilogy "Rougail" is both a spicy condiment and a type of curry used with sausages, either fresh or smoked, and cod.For more than a century, cooks have learned how to use one of the vegetable treasures of Reunion Island: vanilla. A sauce infused with the aroma of one or two vanilla pods will happily be used to coat a roast duck or a fillet of grouper!

Cheese and dessert

Reunion Island now produces a number of cheeses as well as red and white wine from Cilaos. A cake made with sweet potatoes or corn can also be eaten as a dessert or for tea.

Then there is the small matter of a coffee to savour, "poured" in the old fashioned way, and of course the obligatory glass of “rhum arrangé", a mixture of herbs, spices and fruit soaked in white rum.

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