Achard is a type of pickled fruit or vegetable in a special blend of traditional Mauritian spices. The basis of the spice blend usually includes turmeric, garlic, fenugreek, mustard seed, chili, salt, vinegar and oil. Cottonseed oil is often used as the oil, which has a very specific taste. Fruit such as lemon or unripe mango can be pickled with salt, which is unusual for us. However, carrots, Chinese cabbage, eggplant, and other vegetables are usually pickled in this way. Achard is then consumed with the main meal, similar to, for example, chutney.
The lemon achard cost 135 MUR, approximately 2.80 EUR. If you are not familiar with the taste of cottonseed oil, I recommend starting with pickled lemon, which has a distinct taste that will “override” the taste of the oil.
The unripe mango achard cost 100 MUR, approximately 2 EUR.
The bitter cucumber achard. The Latin name for cucumber is Momordica, which means “stinging” or “biting”. The taste is truly bitter. A glass costs 170 MUR, approximately 3.40 EUR.
Even small packages of pickled garlic can be bought to try – this pickled garlic cost 40 MUR, which is about 0.80 EUR.
Small packages of ginger pickle are also sold, for example. The pieces of ginger are large, so it is not grated ginger. The price was the same as for garlic pickle.
Due to the very specific taste of cottonseed oil, I recommend trying achard first (for example in a restaurant), and then buying a larger package and choosing fruit or vegetables with a strong taste (such as lemon or ginger). The taste is unique and may not be to everyone’s liking.
If you like discovering unknown flavors, achard might be just for you.
Accommodation in Mauritius
I wholeheartedly recommend the Seastar Hotel in Flic en Flac, just a short walk from a beautiful beach. The hotel is new, the breakfasts are great, and you almost always have an amazing hot tub on the roof terrace all to yourself! The last time I stayed here was in December 2022 and I will return again.