Reunion Island’s Staple Dish

Nations and territories each need an identity. A national sport, pastime or bird are all symbols of a nation’s distinctiveness. Something that sets them apart from other countries. If I had to think of a representation of British culture, for example, I would imagine Beckham in a bowler hat, eating a bacon sandwich.

Food is a very important icon when it comes to symbolizing a country. France has frog’s legs, the UK has their breakfasts, the USA has hotdogs, but what about Reunion? What is Reunion Island’s staple dish?

I’ve been on the island for nearly ten years, and I think I’ve tasted everything the place has to offer, I’ve savoured all the caris from anguille to zef. I’ve enjoyed every samosa flavour, tried all of the sandwiches, and sampled all the puddings.

There is one dish that stands out however. The ultimate dish that the other caris look up to, and strive to be like. The cari that makes you salivate at the very mention of its name. I am, of course, talking about rougail saucisse.

I love thee my dear rougail saucisse,
Every spoonful, every piece,
Even though you’re full of grease,
I love thee my dear rougail saucisse.

Saucy and spicy, meaty and magnificent, rougail saucisse is probably the most delicious meal that you and I have ever tasted. It’s something about the burly sausages mixed with the mild sauce. It reminds me of my favourite Italian dish; spaghetti and meatballs.

The British love meals like this. If I had a million pounds, I’d open up a restaurant in the UK, and we’d only serve rougail saucisse. I’m sure I’d make the money back in a weekend.

Now, with all this talk of rougail saucisse, I’m sure you’re getting quite hungry, in fact, I think I can hear your tummies rumbling. So let me tell you the best place on the island for getting this delight. I’m on the road a lot for my job, so I’ve sampled rougail saucisse in quite a few restaurants and snack-bars. There’s one place that stands out in my mind. The chef is a creole woman and every time she makes her rougail saucisse it’s better than the last. I am, of course, talking about my wife, the best chef I know!

If you would like to sample her dishes, just give me a call! You’d be more than welcome at my caz, perhaps we could wash it down with some homemade flavoured rum? Enjoy your meal!


to set apart – mettre à part
staple dish – plat nationale
to sample – goûter
pudding – dessert
to strive – lutter

thee – vous
grease – graisse
meaty – plein de viande
burly – épeisse
mild – doux

meatballs – boulettes de viande
tummy – ventre
to rumble – gargouiller
delight – délice
homemade – fait maison

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2 réflexions au sujet de “Reunion Island’s Staple Dish

  1. Hi,
    What a declaration of love !
    I’m surprised by your translation of thee. I thought it was rather « toi » than « vous » ; the second person singular. Isn’t it ?

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