Sunday, July 17, 2011

Influence of Italian Cuisine in Mauritian Cuisine

Mauritian Cuisine has been well and truly an international cuisine since the times of settlement in Mauritius. It has undergone a subtle blending and "raprochement"  between its component cuisine cultures. For example, its curries are definitely less spicy pungent than the Indian ones. I remember talking to the Jasmin Restaurant owner in Adelaide many years ago. He was looking for a Mauritian Chef & I asked him why. He responded by saying that the Mauritian Indian Cuisine is more accepted by Europeans because of its subtle blend of Creole & Indian cuisines in its curries. Namely, the use of tomato rougaille influenced style sauce in its curries.

Italian families did in fact settle in Mauritius. Family names such as Luciani, Cavallo & Cimiotti have Italian connections. The current baby boomers' generation remembers well the famous "Plat de Macaroni" that used to be the special treat for special occasions like the New Year. In Mauritius today, Italian restaurants such as Luigi's Italian Pizzeria & Pasta Bar in Grand Baie are very popular.

The lasagna cooked by Mauritians now includes the incorporation of chilli and other herbs into the sauce to give it that special Mauritian Creole flavour. Traditionally, in Northern Italy, the lasagna includes the use of a Bechamel sauce to finish off the lasagna whilst in Southern Italy only a tomato sauce is used with greater use of cheeses like the mozzarella cheese. Another theory is that the name lasagna for the lasagna dish originated from Greece,comes from the Greek λάσανα (lasana) or λάσανον (lasanon) meaning "trivet or stand for a pot". In fact, a Greek colleague of mine told me that the Greek lasagna does not use a Bechamel sauce, in line with the Southern Italian preference. In fact, Southern Italy was part of Greece in ancient history and that would explain the non use of the Bechamel sauce in the Greek lasagna..

Anyhow, you can enjoy this lasagna by trying the recipe at

1 comment:

  1. The food in those photos looks amazing, I am literally getting hungry right now. I love lasagna!

    catering service in manila