“Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.” – Mark Twain
Mauritius is a tiny island off the Eastern coast of Madagascar, near South Africa. While little-known to many North Americans, it’s a vacation hotspot for Europeans and Asians looking for gorgeous beaches and luxury resorts. (Another interesting fact is that Mauritius was the only place where the now extinct dodo bird was native.)
Mauritius also happens to have FANTASTIC street food which is a culmination of its many cultural influences including French, Arab, Indian, and Chinese. These foods are easily found in bazaars, roadside, or at the beach.
The most common snacks include:
- dholl puri, miniature Indian-style split pea roti filled with delicious curries
- samoosa, bite-sized triangular deep-fried pastries filled with potato or chicken curry
- gateaux piments, small round falafels with hot chilli peppers
- pistaches bouillies, freshly boiled peanuts
- gramme bouille, Indian-style snack
- gateau arouille, a deep fried ball made of grated taro
- niouk nien, a Hakka-Chinese steamed dumpling made of chayote (“chouchou”) squash
- teo kon, Hakka-Chinese tofu squares stuffed with minced fish and green onions, either on their own or in a chicken broth.
- bhao, Chinese-style steamed buns filled with roasted egg and roasted honey pork
I can personally attest that every time I’ve visited this beautiful tropical isle, I’ve beelined straight to the closest food scooter to get my dholl puri fix (that’s right, no food “trucks” on this tropical island!).
Images: courtesy of local food-connoisseur Benny Chan and intrepid world-travellers Mora and Joseph Leung
So, if you are planning a holiday to Mauritius, please be sure that after finishing your first cold margarita, hit the nearest street to get your taste of memorable Mauritian street food! You’ll be dreaming about it for years to come (that, and the beaches!).
For more info on travelling to Mauritius, you can pick up the ever-useful LP guide: Lonely Planet Mauritius, Reunion & Seychelles 8th Ed.: 8th Edition.