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mauritian food main coursesMauritius is not just sand, sea and beautiful beaches. It is also the land of good food and beverages. With the emergence of the tourism sector, and the steady rise in tourist arrivals, the food and beverages sector has been constantly improving their services and products on offer.

The Mauritian cuisine has evolved to blend the flavours from the five continents and offer products and tastes that are unique. Our restaurants, big and small, wherever they are located, offer a wide variety of tasty local, as well as continental food and snacks.

Since the mid-seventies, various policies have been successfully implemented in Mauritius with a view to promoting the develop­ment of the non-sugar agricul­tural and agro-industrial sectors. Mauritius now exports a vari­ety of fresh produce such as veg­etables and exotic fruits. The most commonly exported fresh vegetables comprise of chillies, greens and okra. Some of our tropical fruits which are exported are lychees, pineapples and mangoes. The variety of pineapples exported is the Victoria variety which grows in the Indian Ocean/Southern African region, while most African and South American countries export the Smooth Cayenne variety.

Mauritius has been manufac­turing and exporting cane spirit based rums for a number of years. Some of the well-known brands are "Green Island" and "Old Mill". The recent decision of the Government to allow the utilisation of cane juice to manufacture rum will enable Mauritius to position itself in the spirits market with old rum. Chamarel rhumerie is a good example of the development of local production and exports. Currently they offer 5 and 6 year old rums as well as canned beer and exotic punch.

Today, another sector that has not just emerged but has also grown each year, is the wine sector. Gradually more and more Mauritians are choosing wine. Most wines are imported but there are local wineries that pro­duce equally good quality wine and they distribute their prod­ucts to most retail outlets and some hotels in the country. One or two of them also export to Rodrigues.

In spite of hard prevailing economic conditions and rise in the cost of living, the last couple of years have not been bad for the food and drink sector. Operators are quite happy and believe that business is improving year on year. Stakeholders recognise there is increased competition with the diminution of trade barriers, slow down in consumer spend­ing, negative economic impact resulting from current world events and unprecedented rising costs, yet they are confident that they are well positioned and structured both for positive per­formance in the domestic market and continued progress in build­ing export volume.