Quatre-Bornes Food Market
Open on Wednesday and Saturday
06:00 – 17:00
Quatre-Bornes, the market town. The Quatre-Bornes market is more than a place to buy food.
Nestled in the city centre right across the bus station, this food market, locally referred as ‘food fair’ offers flavourful fresh produce in a folkloric setting. A walk through the stalls is an exploration of the diversity of a nation with strong traditional values. The colours, the smells and noise add to the atmosphere allowing visitors to get more than a glimpse of the rich history and the lifestyle of the local people.
Throughout January, February and March, the ambience of the festivals (Chinese Spring Festival, Thaipoosam Cavadee, Maha Shivaratree among others) can be felt across the market. Special ingredients for the festive meals are on the stalls, readily available for the passionate cooks and caring Mauritian mammas. The array of herbs nicely stacked on the fibre trays diffuse a preview of the mouth-watering dishes on the stove in the local kitchens.
Cheap-eats in Mauritius
The market is known for its cheap eats. You can grab a couple of chilli cakes and samousas stuffed in a paper bag and sprinkled with chilli sauce for only 40 pence. The queues move quite quickly in the street food corner. But my, what street food! Rotis, dholl puris and much more! Behind the food market, a small building close to the post-office, houses food sellers, where fried noodles, briani and typical food are served with Piment Confit (pickled chilli). For a treat, locals opt for a cup refreshing Alouda* or a handful of slices of pickled mangoes and a piece of pineapple sprinkled with salt and chilli.
The Kari Posson* Experience
Tuna, dorado, barracuda and other fish with very local nicknames like korn, viel rouz, zegwi coming from the local seas are delivered early morning and at 2 in the afternoon. It’s a small but a special and crammed place. Scales fly in the air as the helpers clean the fish and the long tentacles of the octopus slip from the scale as they are weighed. Banknotes and coins are exchanged as bargains are roared out. A smell of fish fills the space announcing what’s on the menu tonight, a Kari Posson with eggplant, an old-fashioned favourite.
Pima Confi (Pickled Chilli)
Pima, a powaful (you feel the heat?) word in the local dialect, means chilli. It’s pronounced with lots of energy and it is on all dining tables. The king of all local chillies remain the Ti Pima (small chilli) also called Pima Rodrigues (Rodriguan chilli). They are sold pickled in jars or in glass rum bottles and can be added to any dish that calls for chilli.
*Alouda, a cold dairy drink served with ice and basil seeds
*Kari Posson means Fish Curry, a popular local dish often cooked with eggplant.
A.V-TAYER, January 18th, Mauritius.
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