Most Eco Friendly Way to Eat While Traveling
... to Flic en Flac
If there is one thing among many that can make the difference between a beautiful memory and an experience to be forgotten, that is food. From this perspective, it is therefore important eating sustainably and enjoying it while traveling to create wonderful memories.
This short guide is created to help you understand how to choose what to eat while traveling in a conscious and possibly sustainable way, thus establishing beneficial and advantageous habits for travelers, environment and locals.
“What a nice restaurant! Well-kept, clean, there is even a small fountain in the main room. It will certainly be good, let’s stop here. “
I was already looking forward to the moment when I would fill my stomach with some delight, after a long journey that I had not yet fully realized the success of. We decided to order something simple, hoping that it would come quicker.
Some words, a satisfied smile. When the waiter returned from the kitchen, it took only one glance to understand that we had made a huge mistake.
How to eat well while traveling
Traveling is a lifestyle choice that inevitably leads you to collide with different realities: the further you get away from what you are used to, the more it will be necessary to open your mind to get to know the local reality. And I think this is essential not only for backpackers, but for anyone who does not want to experience unpleasant situations in general.
From this point of view, the trip to Mauritius allowed me to learn some important lessons on the meaning of the word travel and on how to fully experience a destination.
I know it. Food, especially for us Italians, is always a sore point.
Moved by patriotic enthusiasm or habits-laziness, we often deal with local food in an unbalanced way, underestimating it. Assuming that everyone has their own tastes and values, it is also true that as long as you don’t try something, you can’t have an objective judgment of it: how can you say that you don’t like something if you’ve never tried it? Or that one thing is more or less good and nutritious than another if you didn’t even know it exists?
In Mauritius, the first few days I often tried to recreate the dishes I used to eat in Italy. We had rented a very nice apartment near Flic en Flac Beach and every day I had to prepare breakfast, packed lunch and dinner. The result was catastrophic at home, where I decided to opt for adapted recipes, as much as in restaurants.
I can assure you that one of the worst choices you can make is to order a pizza while watching a beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean!
Eat while traveling: cheap and sustainable choices
Each traveler has his own style, but there are some common best practices for understanding what to eat while traveling, which in my opinion can make the experience much better for you and, indirectly, also for the environment.
- Watch the flow.
In this article, I talk about overtourism, masses and differentiation. Talking about food and nutrition, it is good to carefully observe locals and their habits when you arrive in a foreign country.
Where do locals eat? Where do they buy fruit and vegetables?
In every country, the inhabitants hardly go to places where the quality of the food is particularly low or there is a risk of getting sick, indeed they generally know where to buy or order tasty and nutritious dishes. They know the local cuisine and the typical products of their country.
This translates into the simple rule: observe, if a restaurant or grocery store is empty, it probably doesn’t offer good food. If that little shop that you wouldn’t go to has queues outside every day, you should probably try it instead.
- Choose local products.
Looking for Nutella on an island in Africa is not a smart choice!
Having already done so, I can say that buying non-local food products is really an unsustainable and stupid choice. The reasons are simple: they are expensive, very expensive in some cases, the quality is low, the import costs in environmental terms. So, in a nutshell, you spend money on something that probably isn’t as nutritious as it should (maybe not even good) and also pollutes more.
- Avoid tourist restaurants.
International cuisine, menu translated into a thousand languages, medium-high prices. When you find yourself in front of such places you must be aware of the fact that the goal of these activities is generally to please tourists who have no intention of approaching the local culture and prefer to “play it safe”. This can involve: importing and transporting food over long distances and long storage, to the detriment of quality (both in terms of taste and nutritional properties) which is therefore lowered. Nothing wrong with that if you still prefer these places, but at least you are aware of what you eat.
where to eat while traveling in FLIC EN FLAC
Flic en Flac is a small town in the south of Mauritius island and the restaurants and bar it offers can be counted on the fingers of your hands. Excluding the majestic luxury resorts, there is a small super market, some fruit and vegetable stalls every other day, a slew of restaurants and bars that line the waterfront and lots of food trucks.
If you want to enjoy delicious food with traditional flavors, I recommend the small shop in front of the bus stop that runs along the beach and vaguely recalls the Italian rotisseries: you may not be attracted by the window, but the food is really great, so much so that during the rest of the trip we bought our savory breakfast right there. You recognize it for the queue of people, who at 8 am is already there to order chicken, samosas and other succulent dishes, or with the unmistakable and intense aroma of spices typical of Indian cuisine.
Street food is another great choice if you want to try local recipes and eat delicious dishes: the only exception in my opinion, is what they call “Italian ice cream”, fresh but without anything in common with the ice cream to which you’re probably used to it.
For shopping, the number 1 tip is always the local market, in this case located in Port Louis: huge choice, fresh, local products and without too many wrappers. Moreover, at the market you can find one of the island’s best treasures: vanilla. The mini market in Flic en Flac is very convenient, but personally I believe that many foods, especially fresh ones, are much better elsewhere. One exception is the bread, which was baked every other day and was truly tasty.
Small tip: pay attention to the prices! Every now and then some stalls that may seem an ecological and natural choice offer truly enormous prices compared to the average. In the village we found a stall selling fruit and vegetables along the way, but the prices were really high compared to the average and the quality did not convince us much. Maybe it was just bad luck, or the fruits were not yet ripe, but it is always better to balance prices and real quality!
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Writing is what connects me to people, love for nature is the filter with which I live and capture my experiences; I long for learning new things, observing and smiling to the world, sharing my experiences with those who have the same passions.
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