Travellers come to Madagascar to experience incredibly rare fauna and flora and perhaps even magnificent beaches and marine attractions. And while the island is not known as a culinary destination, everyone needs to eat and visitors may be pleasantly surprised by the delicious Malagasy food that’s on offer. Savour the flavours of abundant fresh fruit from markets or roadside stalls, or seafood caught that day in the coastal areas, and don’t leave without trying Zebu with Madagascan Green Peppercorn sauce.
You may find yourself wondering what exactly is a Zebu when it’s at home? Well, it’s a kind of cow found in Madagascar and locals are rather particular about the distinction. Zebu have important cultural significance to Malagasy people and they are often slaughtered for special occasions, such as funerals. Good quality Zebu meat is comparable to beef and is delicious with a Madagascan Green Peppercorn sauce or some spicy Sakay chili relish.
Fresh fruit can be found in abundance and at a very favourable price. You can buy a refreshing, chopped up pineapple for less than $1 from a stall. Slices of coconut and coconut juice are another cheap and ubiquitous snack. Madagascar is the largest exporter of lychees so they are found in large amounts and are particularly cheap in December. Other enticing fruits that are widely available and very inexpensive are bananas, citrus fruits, coconuts, guavas, mangoes, papayas, passion fruit, peaches, and plums.
The Indian Ocean Island was a refuge for Indo-Malayan people, who brought rice; African settlers, who brought cows that are known as “zebu”, as well as Arab and Indian traders that introduced spices. The French colonialists gave Madagascar vanilla, pastries, and duck. Often restaurants aimed at tourists will have more of a French influence and it’s possible to have fine French cuisine at the fraction of the price you would pay in Paris. In Malagasy cooking, rice is a staple food, but fresh flaky baguettes are found on every street corner as well.
As with many islands, the seafood on offer in Madagascar is fantastic. Freshly caught that day and expertly prepared for your lunch and dinner it is here where you are in for a real treat. Prices are also quite low so be prepared to indulge in a seafood feast of fish, crayfish, prawns, octopus, lobster and even oysters. Because it is so fresh seafood is often cooked simply, grilled or fried, or in a sauce coco (a coconut curry sauce).
Is your mouth watering yet? If you have worked up an appetite for visiting Madagascar contact us today to book a tantalizing trip.