In Mauritius, local exotic fruits, in addition to being eaten plain, are also widely used in traditional recipes, and there is a wide variety of them. Among the most popular are the particularly succulent mangoes, litchis, and pineapple.
At the beginning of summer, if there is one thing that does not go unnoticed in Mauritius, it is the seasonal fruits and more particularly the mango. We see them at the fruit merchant’s, in the trees and especially on our plates. Yes, in Mauritius, mango is consumed in different ways, as a dessert as well as in salty dishes.
While mango is generally appreciated ripe, for its juicy, tender and deliciously fragrant pulp, in Mauritius, several preparations have been invented and reinvented to enhance this fruit even when it is green. When the mangoes are halfway between green and wall (they have a yellowish color), they are eaten with crushed chili pepper mixed with salt and very often tamarind compote.
Litchi is found all over the island except in the cold regions: Curepipe, Vacoas and Grand Bassin. In Montagne Longue, you will find several lychee orchards and the height of the trees is more than 50m. The fruit remains in bunches and is green and small. The green fruit grows and turns green – pink/red and at maturity the fruit is red. There are several varieties and colors of lychee but choose the triangle shape: flat at the top towards the stem and pointed at the bottom because the stone is small and the white flesh is firm and juicier.
This name may not inspire you at the moment, but you will have trouble forgetting it once you have tasted it. Originally from Asia, this juicy fruit has conquered the tropics and will surely awaken your taste buds with its tangy taste. When the carambola is sliced into slices, it takes the shape of a star, which gives pep to your fruit dishes. Often consumed in salads or juices, Mauritius carambola can be enjoyed with a little salt and local chili pepper.
Called the “eye of the dragon” in China, the longan is native to southeast Asia. With a smooth, brown skin that turns yellow, this small fruit is made of a translucent flesh that is very sweet, ultra-fresh and full of water. Among the local fruits, longans occupy a prominent place on the Mauritians’ plate during the second half of the summer, i.e. from January to March. If you are wondering how it is eaten, be aware that longans can be eaten raw or in juice.
One of the best places to find them is the local market in Port Louis (or any other local market in Mauritius), where you can find fresh fruit cheaper than in supermarkets.