Fruit and vegetables in Mauritius

Mauritian nature is generous. Across the island grow fruit trees that offer Mauritians a lot of vitamins on a daily basis. You do not even need to go to the market, simply walk across the streets and open your eyes… In Mauritius, it is common knowledge that all the fruits available at the edge of the road belong to everyone. Any person can consume it whenever he wants to.

For those who are observant, spotting wild fruit trees in the Mauritian countryside is a child’s play. They are quite numerous and they are almost everywhere: cities, villages, fields, and forests… Most of the seeds of the species such as mangoes or papayas, are spread through the frugivores like birds or bats.

A wide variety of vegetables and fruits produced in Mauritius is very appreciated by the Mauritians; It should be noted that these form a very important part in the daily meals of Mauritians. A vegetable curry is normally an essential part of a lunch or a typically creole Mauritian dinner, then a fruit salad or a ripe and juicy fruit (mango or pineapple) complements the meal.

Everyday, local markets display a multitude of fresh and colorful vegetables. Locally grown in rural areas, they are taken early in the morning to be sold during the day. Some common vegetables that can be found on the stalls are mainly eggplants, cabbage, bitter gourd (with a bitter taste, but also healing properties), gourds, green beans etc… There is also a variety of leafy vegetables (edible leaves such as watercress, “brède malbar” etc…) which are cooked in a broth or a stir fry with onions to accompany a creole “rougaille” or any other sauce.

The paradise Island of Mauritius offers a wide variety of tropical fruits. Most of the fruits ripe in summer, but some of them can be purchased at any time during the year. For example, small bananas (called “banane zinzeli” by the locals) with its fragrant flesh can be obtained at any time. You can also find papayas, mangoes (different varieties), cinnamon-apple, pineapple, soursop with its white and soft pulp, litchis (from China) and longan from the same family (but sweeter). There is also the seasonal fruit “Goyave de chine” (from Brazil initially) grown in the forest. All these delicious fruits can be found in local markets.