Sun-drenched flavours of Reunion Island

  • © ©IRT / Serge Gélabert

Sun-drenched flavours of Reunion Island re

In Reunion, it would be impossible not to stumble across the ubiquitous cari, inspired by Indian curries. A spicy meat or fish ragout, cari is served with a large helping of rice and well-cooked lentils or peas. The spicier rougail comes in two forms: a ragout, the most common being the sausage rougail, and a ‘home-made’ condiment of chilli peppers and tomatoes, found on every table on the island.

Located at the crossroads of the famous ‘Sea Spice’, Reunion welcomed flavours from all around the world, such as turmeric, cardamom, ginger and the four spices.
Bourbon Vanilla (Bourbon being the old name of Reunion island) is used for baking as well as in other dishes such as the famous vanilla duck, and in punches, rums and of course coffee. There are two types of rum: agricultural rum, obtained by distilling the fermen- tation of fresh sugarcane juice; and the industrial rum, obtained by distil- ling the residue of sugar production (molasses).

Punch is prepared with fresh fruits (pineapple, orange, passion fruit), cane syrup and a healthy splash of white rum. The sugar from Reunion is harvested in the sugar cane fields and then sold in individual packets to consumers.