This is the tenth post in a series on the French-themed trip I took this summer. This is the second of several posts about our trip to the Seychelles. Last week, I wrote about bats in the sky and on the plate. In earlier posts, we visited La Réunion, the French island colony in the Indian Ocean, where I tried French-influenced Indian cuisine, suggested an AOC for Chouchou de Cirque de Salazie, and visited the marché in St. Pierre, where we had caramelized banana jam. In case you missed them, read my earlier posts on how I became such a Francophile, come along on a Parisian food tour inspired by David Lebovitz, see me try out his recipe for pain d’épices au chocolat, read my homage to lovely Montmartre, and see the Space Invaders in Paris and the street art of Belleville.
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Part Two: Market Day in Victoria
On another day trip, we explored Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, which proudly calls itself “the smallest capital in the world.” There’s a clock tower in the center of Victoria known as “little Big Ben.” To get to Victoria from Beau Vallon, we had to drive on hilly, winding roads with hairpin turns and no railings to protect you from steep ravines on either side. We passed small, neat houses with roofs of either tile or galvanized metal. Children walked to school in neat school uniforms. And near Victoria’s central covered market, a Hindu temple in all its Technicolor glory, serving Mahe’s large Indian population. At the market, we saw an interesting array of fish freshly caught from the surrounding waters, including small sharks reminiscent more of the sandsharks I remember dissecting in junior high biology class than of Jaws.
There were piles of spices, including cinnamon in two forms—the rough, flat outer bark and the more familiar cinnamon sticks, which are from the inner bark. There were colorful prepacked ground spices for kari, jams, vanilla pods, and bundles of dried sitronella. There was a small selection of locally grown vegetables—cabbage, onions, eggplant, bunches of thyme. The fruit selection was sparse and imported, though from interesting places: Mandarins from Egypt, apples and pears from New Zealand. Local fruit included beautiful (but stringy) local mangoes, starfruit, bananas, and golden apple (elsewhere known as pommel cythere, pomcite, and June plum).
We had lunch afterwards in the upstairs market restaurant, which had some fabulous local food, including a smoked fish salad, fish and chips, and fish kari. Its open structure made it a great place to people watch and see the street life below.
If you liked this post, please come back next week for part 3, and consider sharing this with your friends. Thanks for reading.