Just imagine – palm trees, white sandy beaches, endless summers and delicious Seychelles cuisine. The Seychelles Islands are known for its rich and exotic culture, influenced by the harmonious mixtures of people who have settled there over many years.
The Seychelles is a true paradise for gourmet travelers who love to experience new flavors. You can’t leave Seychelles without trying local cuisine. It is a fusion of European and Asian acquaints with traditions of the Seychellois – native residents of the islands. Let`s have a look at the top Seychelles dishes, that all the travelers fall in love with.
Fish and Meat
You can hardly find anywhere else such a variety of fish and seafood dishes as in Seychelles. And you can be sure of its freshness – the Seychellois go fishing twice a day. Most often, fish is cooked to a minimum by adding spices such as garlic, ginger and chili and left on the grill.
Fish variety is complemented by seafood – octopus, lobster, trululu crabs, mussels and shrimp. Be sure to try one of the delicacies – spicy octopus curry, zesty crabs or lobster in lemon juice. And don`t forget about Tec Tec – small shellfish cooked with pumpkin for soup.
An essential component of Creole cuisine is rice. Most of the meals don`t go without it. It is a must to all curries that creates bright yellow color and spicy flavors. A creative interpretation of the rice with fish is “pvason ek diri” – salted fish with rice. The tradition to eat salted fish came from the times when it was necessary to preserve the freshness of the product without a refrigerator. Spices and various ingredients – vegetables and fruits – gives it a unique taste to the dish.
During the colonial period, Seychellois used to eat loads of bats – and it can be easily explained. If you look up at the trees early evening, you`ll see them everywhere! Of course, now bat meat is replaced with more familiar chicken or fish. If you are brave enough, you can still try bat curry at certain restaurants. The dish is called “Rousettes”. It is made of the meat of the fruit bats, also known as Flying Foxes. It can be compared with venison, but it has many small bones. Be careful!
Those who are not ready for “Rousettes” should try popular Seychelles sausages – “Sausages Rougay”. It is reasonably salty sausage made with local pork with a creamy tomato sauce with onion and garlic.
Fruits and Vegetables
If you are vegetarian, don`t think that Seychelles cuisine has nothing to offer you. Seychelles is a paradise for vegetarians! There is such a variety of local fruits and vegetables that it will take you a couple of weeks to taste all of them. Here are just a few of them:
A unique variety of eggplant, called “Bringle” grows on the Island. It is fried in oil with anis, turmeric and pepper and served purely as a vegetarian dish or a side dish for meat.
Lentils are often used as a side dish. Traditionally, red lentils are boiled with garlic, ginger, onions and spices. Because of this, it becomes a saturated yellow color and in this form served on the table. Yes, it may not look delicious, but it’s worth a try!
Are you used to eating bananas? In Seychelles, there are more than 20 types of bananas of different sizes and tastes and are eaten often fried or stewed. They are fried with coconut milk and sweet potatoes to make a Ladob dessert. It tastes like warm caramel.
Seychelles – the motherland of the famous breadfruit. The breadfruit looks like a big potato and forms part of many dishes and desserts.
There is even a saying in Seychelles: “The one who has tried the breadfruit will come back here again”. So, if you want to come back to Seychelles, you know what to do.
By the way, snacks and chips are sold here at any supermarket and at an affordable price. Favorite Seychelles snacks include banana chips, breadfruit chips and molouk. Banana chips have a salty taste, and molouk is fried bread dough.
The Satini salad is finely chopped ingredients. These can be unripe fruits, such as papaya, onions, and many spices. Therefore, this salad has a consistently spicy taste. Sometimes it is cooked with shark meat or chopped coconut.
Where to Buy and Eat Authentic Seychelles Cuisine
Literally everywhere! Small tents with shacks are set up at every corner, especially located on the famous Seychelles beach – Beau Vallon. Here you can taste grilled fish, octopus salad, fried bananas and other simple but delicious foods. Besides, it`s a great chance to feel 100% local!
The freshest fruits and vegetables, fish and spices you`ll find of course at local markets. People come here not only for food but for the exotic atmosphere and experience the local colors of Seychelles. Sellers in bright clothes will be pleased to tell you about their best goods and will help you to make the right choice.
You can find whatever you like: starfruit, jackfruit, mango, papaya, coconuts, bananas of different varieties – it`s a tropical paradise indeed! Fish stands will impress you with unseen deep-sea inhabitants – stingray, barracuda, angelfish, parrotfish and sharks. And don`t forget the spices! Its huge aromas will remind you of that special time spent in magical Seychelles.
Evidently, the most extensive choice of Seychelles cuisine dishes is in numerous Island restaurants. Restaurants offer International menus and traditional Creole dishes. Most of the restaurants belong to hotels, which is a big advantage for guests, who have an excellent opportunity to enjoy a variety of meals without leaving a resort.
For example, the Coral Strand Hotel located on Mahe Island has 4 restaurants and bars on site. Here you can enjoy a theme buffet dinner at Island Trader or try the tastiest curry on the island at “Mahek” or savor the right Seychelles beer at the Ocean Deck Bar. And of course, each restaurant offers you the local Seychelles cuisine. Another advantage of the Coral Strand Hotel, nestled directly on Beau Vallon beach – fabulous views on the Indian Ocean, which you can admire during the course of your meal.
As you can see, Seychelles cuisine has much to offer, with truly exciting dishes and flavors. When you visit the Seychelles, don’t forget that half the experience is in the food! Have you tried Seychelles cuisine before? Tell us about your experience.
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Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.