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Grains and legumes for sale, Port Louis

Mauritian Heritage and Food Tour

On this private, guided full-day tour you’ll travel across the island, sampling a range of dishes from Indian samosas to Creole home-cooking, take a walking tour of the capital and visit a 19th-century colonial home.

After your driver-guide has collected you from your hotel, you’ll head to the capital, Port Louis, for a walking tour. Many visitors eschew the capital completely — aside from the slick waterfront shopping area — but you’ll head to the old merchant area. Here, elegant, wooden colonial buildings sit aside modern office blocks and stone warehouses (built from volcanic rock that keeps the produce cool).

Try maize pudding, a sweet cornmeal recipe brought over by African slaves or chili cakes served in a soft French baguette. One of the most popular snacks is dholl puri, a chickpea stuffed flatbread that’s prepared using traditional Indian techniques.

Heading inland, you’ll drive through the residential town of Curepipe before reaching a row of small houses that back onto tall sugarcane fields. In the middle house lives Marie who will welcome you into her home for a traditional Creole lunch. After a glass of freshly-squeezed pineapple juice, she will show you her feu du bois, a traditional wood-fired oven that’ stoked by blowing into a metal straw.

Once the food is prepared, you’ll sit down with Marie, her sister, sister-in-law and young granddaughter (who have all been pitching in with the cooking) to try a variety of dishes. This might include red lentil soup, pumpkin puree or goat curry. Marie’s recipes hark back to her Creole roots, particularly her homemade curry paste which is sweeter and more fragrant than Indian versions.

After lunch you’ll continue onward to Le Domaine des Aubineaux, a 19th-century French colonial house. From here, one of the island’s first tea plantations was run, planted with an Assam-hybrid brought over from Sri Lanka (the plantation is now a mix of forest and private homes). You’ll take a short guided tour of the house, part of which has been converted into a tea museum. There’s also a rare collection of black-and-white photos that document French-colonial buildings across the island, many of which have now sadly been destroyed.

After exploring the house and gardens, you can finish your tour by tasting a variety of teas, from traditional black tea to caramel, cardamom and coconut blends. You’ll then be driven back to your hotel.

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