Cuisine malgache, Madagascan cuisine - it should be important for every traveler and interested person to also know something about the culinary aspects of the red island.
Basically, there's almost nothing that isn't here, and it's far more familiar than most would guess.
As unique and endemic as Madagascar's nature may be, the eating habits there are international and cosmopolitan!
Madagascar has always been a country of active imports - the island's isolated location has meant that, despite the people's obsession with tradition, a certain number of innovations have taken hold, which have also found expression in the cuisine.
Although rice as the No. 1 crop is indispensable in the minds and stomachs of the Malagasy - but especially the French have changed in the not even seventy years of colonial history much of what comes to our plate today! The clearest sign of this may be the "French fries" available almost everywhere!
It is imperative to say that Malagasy cuisine is much less spicy than on the nearby African continent. On the contrary, since even the Vanilla as the most famous export crop of the island is also just a plant cultivated by artificial insemination, through the centuries almost all edible and useful plants of the world were settled here!
Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, tea, coffee, cocoa, apples and pears - the list could be continued almost endlessly and makes the Malagasy cuisine appear as a culinary world-wide peculiarity.
If, especially on the coasts, there is a clearly creole influenceWhile the cuisine of the central highlands is not stingy with spiciness, it has a peasant, almost European feel.
The strong dominance of the Zeburindesand the consequent complete exploitation of this farm animal, therefore also allows specialties such as tripe, tongue, beef snout and the like to appear on the menu. But also all the other farm animals that enrich the menu are kept everywhere in the country: Chickens, geese, goats, pigs and sheep.
The Chinese have also had an unmistakable influence on the cuisine - although there are only a few tens of thousands of them, some of whom have lived in the country for generations: Chinese cookshops and dishes have been known for far longer than they have been here!
And because it was the French, of all people, who dominated and exploited Madagascar as a colonial power, a French influence hardly deny!
It should come as no surprise that Madagascar has, firstly, some top restaurants with internationally acclaimed French cuisine, and secondly, that many French people come to Madagascar primarily for culinary reasons.
In hardly any other country in the world can delicacies, which elsewhere are already unaffordable, outlawed or forbidden, be enjoyed as cheaply and richly as here!
Frog legs, duck and goose liver, oysters and seafood of all kinds, game (e.g. wild boar, wild ducks and wild geese) - again, the list could be extended considerably!
And since a good meal always goes hand in hand with a good drop of wine, the French have made all kinds of efforts in the past to promote the European Wine culture to be transferred here.
This has been quite successful, with a few drawbacks - at least the Malagasy soil offers enough potential for very good wine. However, the know-how of winemaking was strongly neglected by the troubled years after independence and has led to the fact that today only a vanishingly small part of the island is covered by vineyards, which on top of that almost consistently deliver only mediocre to poor wine!
In this respect, Madagascar has unfortunately remained just as much a developing country as in other areas - and has also regressed here from a previously high standard!
However, if one considers the multicolored, fresh splendor that catches one's eye in the Malagasy markets, this aspect can be neglected. Since in Madagascar sprays and fertilizers are unaffordable for the people, the whole variety of Malagasy cuisine comes in biologically impeccable quality on the plate.
More on the topic Food and drink