Craving that bowl

Wherever you hail from around the globe there's a taste that reminds you of home. Be it a dish from childhood or a bowl of comfort food that evokes happy memories, These are the dishes connecting us with our native lands, sowing cravings We yearn to Satisfy — and tantalising the tastebuds of eager travellers. Alison Marshall lifts the lid on the delicious world of food nostalgia.

Smell is one of the biggest triggers of emotions, evoking an olfactory memory and a hunger that can be both physical and poignant. More often than not, the food that conjures up such a response is a simple repast — a delicious centrepiece of hundreds of happy family suppers. Dishes that delight us are often those of humble origins, a much loved meal created from a treasured recipe, written on a yellowing scrap of paper, and now well worn with use, having been handed down through generations. The more we expand our own horizons, the more we crave the embracing comforts of our roots. This is probably why globally, many dishes which began as street food staples, now grace the white tablecloths of fine dining restaurants, allowing visitors to foreign shores the opportunity to enjoy the comfort food of their hosts. United in taste, our soothing selection has a common thread. Every dish is made from fresh local ingredients and, for the people who hail from their country of origin; they all share an authentic flavour of home.


Seychellois Fish Curry

With its enviable geographical position, aquamarine waters and powder white beaches, the cuisine of the Seychelles is almost as breathtaking as its scenery. The Seychelles traces its first settlement back to 1770, when the French arrived with a small party of Indians and Africans. Crops of coconut and sugar cane, which were cultivated, are still an important influence on the cuisine today. To add to the local flavour of the island, bananas and manioc (also known as cassava or tapioca root) were introduced by east African settlers. They also added the now familiar spicy notes of vanilla and ginger to the culinary mix. With no less than 10 different types of chilli, it is no surprise that curry is one of the Seychelles' signature dishes, bringing together the global influences on its cultural history all in one bowl. Coconut forms the basis of many dishes here, including fish curry, its ingredients gathered from land and sea minutes before they are assigned to the pot. In a bygone era, bat and goat would have been traditional staples of a curry, since replaced with chicken or fish. But the traditional sound of a conch shell being blown to announce that the fishing boats have landed still remains.


Time to dig deeper and explore the exotic brew of Seychelles culture: