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World Travel Guide > Guides > Caribbean > French Overseas Possessions > Reunion

the fp is food-and-drink

Reunion Food and Drink

Reunion's unique flavours come from many centuries of mixed French, Malagasy, Chinese and Indian influences, and it's not uncommon to receive dishes from multiple continents served on the same plate.

Though almost every meal contains chillies and spices such as ginger, dishes are not overly spicy. They typically consist of rice and pulses served together with vegetables and fish or meat curry or stew.

Being an island, fish including tuna and swordfish are popular options, while chicken and French-style sausages are also common.

Specialities

Rougail: Spicy condiment made from tomatoes, lemon and pistachio nuts, as well as the term for various stews (see below).
Rougail saucisses: Full-flavoured stew containing sausage, tomatoes and turmeric, served with rice.
Civet de zourites: Baby octopus cooked in red wine, herbs and spices.
Brèdes: Delicious local vegetable rather like spinach served fried with onion, chilli and ginger as a side dish.
Carri tangue: Curried meat of a hedgehog-like animal.
Achard: Salad of mixed fruits and vegetables.
Cabri massalés: Traditional spicy Indian goat dish straight from the subcontinent and often served on banana leaves.
Zambrokal: Stir-fried rice with beans, peas, meat, sausage, or anything else left in the cupboard.
Gâteau sosso: Sweet cake made from corn.
Bouchons: Dumpling-like wraps filled with pork, beef or chicken and often served as a bar snack.
L’americain: Grilled sandwiches containing meat or fish and cheese, topped with French fries.
Dodo: Officially branded under the name Bourbon, this is the island’s favourite lager.
Café Bourbon: Arab coffee.
Rhum arrange: White rum with vanilla, orchids, aniseed and cinnamon.

Things to know

Licensing hours are largely unrestricted.

Tipping

Widely practised; 10% is normal.

Drinking age

16, though purchasing age is 18.