Thursday, 30 August 2007

Cuisine Creole

Many meals are meat-based dishes (lamb, chicken and pork), but the meat is not locally bred (apart from some of the chicken. However the best of their dishes revolve around fish and shellfish Seafood can be served grilled - with or without a butter-based sauce - or it can be served in spicy cari preparations (green or red curry). The curry sauce often involves lait de coco (coconut milk) and the ubiquitous citronnelle (lemongrass). Crab and octopus - and a host of different types of fish : the moistest tuna, shark, rabbit fish (cordonnier), parrot fish (poisson perroquet), mullet (rouget), ballan wrasse (vieille)...
Besides fish a great local specialty : bat meat! They have big bats called "roussettes" that you can spot, flying from tree to tree, when night falls. Some restaurants have it permanently on the menu, but some require you to order it in advance, as they have to get someone to hunt them for you! It can be served "en civet" (stewed with vegetables) and as a cari (curry) I have never had this but my parents have. The meat is full of little bones, a bit like frog legs,,. It is tightly knit like duck meat, and has a gamy yet subtle flavor . I never tried out once whilst I was on holiday a bat was caught and cooked I loved batman so much I could not bear the thought i eating anything associated with him.
Dishes are accompanied with long grain white rice, plain or spiced or saffron flavored, "Chatini", is a condiment served cold, made with thinly sliced marinated vegetables or fruit, cooked or raw : eggplant, cucumber, cabbage, papaya, mango or giraumon, a local type of pumpkin. The name brings chutney to mind, but chatini is not as sweet as Indian chutney, and is more vinegary too.

Citronnelle (lemongrass) is used in food, but also to make infusions a tea, I really do love this a I have a supply from my mum.

On the sweet front, a variety of fruit for breakfast or dessert. My favorite were the very cute mini-bananas, half the size of a regular banana, but the same diameter We also have mango, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, paw-paw (papaya) and carambole (starfruit).

The most fantastic jams are made with the bananas, the papaya and the starfruit. ner Seychelles jam recipes have you cook the sugar till almost scorched before you add the fruit in, which accounts for their delicious caramelized taste.
Other desserts include bananas or papaya in caramel and cream sauce, bread pudding with custard, coconut or banana tarts, delicious coconut sorbet, and a mean coconut nougat.
freshly squeezed fruit juice. The local coconut liquor, called "Coco d'amour". The bottle is shaped like a coco-fesse, a coconut shaped exactly like a pair of buttocks that's unique to the Seychelles and is said to have aphrodisiacal virtues...

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