The Victoria Food Market

The Victoria Food Market

On the last Saturday of our Seychelles vacation, we were on the island of Mahé, the largest and most populated of the archipelago (ooh, a good 150 km2 and 70,000 inhabitants!), which holds the small capital city, Victoria. Only a handful of streets, but still, it’s the biggest in the country. It has a daily food market, and Saturday mornings are the busiest, so that’s the moment we chose to visit.

This is a covered market mostly, held in an airy building painted with bright colors and full of palm trees, but some of the food stands sprawl out onto the neighboring streets.

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Eating Our Way Through The Seychelles

Well, well, well. Even the best things come to an end, and here we are, back in Paris! This was a fantastic vacation: a perfect mix of discovering the islands, their breathtaking landscapes and incredible fauna and flora, snorkeling, resting on perfect beaches, and enjoying the delicious local food.

There is definitely something to be said about extremely fresh seafood, prepared with care, eaten in the company of the love of your life, while seated at a shaded terrace with a view on the deep blue sea, a light refreshing breeze brushing your face.

So, what’s Seychelles cuisine like, you ask?

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Urchins

Oursins

Or : Maxence the Fearless Eater

Maxence loves sushi. It is hard for him to decide which type is his favorite (I know, I asked), but it could very well be Uni, sea urchin sushi, which is somewhat hard to find in France. So when we spotted sea urchins at the rue Lepic fish market (which we don’t like very much apart from the good shellfish selection : bad service and overpriced fish) we bought five.

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Chocolate, Apricot, and Ginger Loaf Cake

Cake au Chocolat, Abricots et Gingembre

On Sunday afternoon, we had a few friends over for the goûter. In attendance were : Marie-Laure and Ludo, with whom we had had brunch earlier in the day ; my friend Sophie, who used to work at my company ; Stéphane and Caro, who are friends from college ; and our neighbors Stéphan and Patricia. To feed this crowd, I wanted to make something chocolate. I know, I know, I surprise myself too, sometimes.

When Pierre Hermé‘s Chocolate Desserts cookbook came out, one of the magazines I read had an article that published four of them : they don’t quote the book word for word, they just give the recipe essentials, which still makes the book worth buying, as Pierre Hermé always gives very detailed instructions. All those recipes looked great, but you have to make choices in life, as hard as they may be. So I set out to make the apricot and ginger chocolate cake.

Language note : in French, the word “cake” (which is pronounced more or less like “kek“) means not just any cake – that would be “gâteau” – but a cake that’s baked in a loaf pan.

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Burgundy Snails

Petits Gris à la Bourguignonne

Last week, Maxence and I were at the Poissonnerie Bleue, the fish market at the bottom of the rue des Martyrs, a.k.a. fish lover’s paradise : they have a very wide and very tempting selection of sea food. It is always pretty crowded, but the service is friendly and fast. As we were standing in line to pay, we noticed they also sold frozen garlic snails, so we promptly bought two dozens.

Petits gris (literally “small gray”) are a variety of snails, much smaller than their cousins the “Escargots de Bourgogne”. They are often prepared “à la Bourguignonne” : boiled, seasoned with garlic parsley butter, and served as a first course, in their shell.

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