The Creole cuisine of the Seychelles is simple but delicious. It puts the spotlight primarily on fish and shellfish, rice and vegetables, as well as exotic tropical fruits. Preparation methods draw their inspiration from many origins that have influenced Seychelles culture, firstly French and African, and then Indian and Chinese.
In the 18th century, the first colonists arrived in Seychelles. Their culinary traditions would gradually incorporate fruits and vegetables from tropical climates and fish from warm waters. At the same time, slaves from the eastern shores of Africa enriched the cuisine with the introduction of root vegetables such as cassava, cambar, sweet potato and purple yam, as well as fruits such as the banana. The proximity of Madagascar and Reunion (then Bourbon) Island fostered the use of the leafy greens called "brèdes," vanilla and ginger, which along with garlic, became staples of Seychelles cuisine.
At the time of the Intendant Pierre Poivre, a garden of spices was created known as "the King's garden" in Anse Royale. Today it has been restored and is worth a detour. Cinnamon, once an export that was an important source of income to the Seychelles, is one of the species that were once grown at Anse Royale.
The cuisine of the Seychelles was enriched further by the arrival of Indian traders. Masala curries and pulaos (a kind of pilaf) are today standard dishes in the Creole repertoire. Seychelles chutneys were undoubtedly inspired by the cooking of the Indies.
More recently, Chinese merchants and shopkeepers have set up in the Seychelles, adding other flavors to the older culinary traditions.
You can encounter fishermen at all hours along the coasts and in the small ports. Fishing is an important source of employment and income for the inhabitants. Fish and rice are at the heart of Seychelles cuisine. You'll want to try brèdes soup, fish rougaille, shark chatini and breadfruit daube.
The growing of vegetables, such as eggplant, is widespread on Mahé. You'll find them readily in the markets, along with limes, coconuts and bananas.
Among local specialties are "millionaire's salad" made with hearts of palm, dogfish curry, coconut curry, and tetec soup, all washed down with the local beer (the country has one brewery - Seychelles Breweries - which produces 7 million liters a year). Octopus, crab and shrimp vary the menu in local curries.
Thanks to Air Seychelles for their collaboration. Take a plane to the Seychelles and discover these wonderful islands.
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