The feast of the darling, the symbol of Salazie
For many years at Hell-Bourg, in the town of Salazie, is held in June the darling party. It is a vegetable from the Cucurbitaceae family commonly called chayote in mainland France which is eaten mainly in curry sure the Reunion Island. The small shoots of this vegetable, the brèdes chouchous, are also eaten by the Réunionese, reminiscent of the taste of green beans. The long stems of the scrunchie are dried and are then used to make the favorite straw hats.
No wonder that with all its uses, the Reunionese dedicate an annual celebration to the darling. They even nickname it “vegetable pig”, because as the popular saying goes: “everything is good in the pig”. Well for the Reunionese, it's the same for the darling.
Flagship product of the Salazie circus, the feast of the chouchou honors the various actors who cultivate, cook and weave this very special plant. Salazian farmers come to present and sell their production of scrunchies, chouchous brèdes and stems.
In salads, curries, cakes, cooked or raw, cooks are full of imagination to incorporate it into their recipes. The braiders who pass this know-how down from generation to generation offer their famous favorite straw hats for sale, as well as baskets, cell phone pouches and earrings.
And of course, who says party, says rides and music! Funfair and artists from the island met to entertain visitors to Salazie's darling party.
For more than Holidays in Réunion consult our interactive map.
I had no idea that this party existed. It is true that I was only able to go to this wonderful island once and it was in January so not the period.
That being said, I am a fan of this island and your cuisine. If here in France, it is not easy to find chouchou brèdes, I prepare spinach leaves in the same way (the most difficult is to find good quality spices (like massalé, for example)).