It’s rare that you’ll come across a local who does not know the famous “Biscuits Manioc” (Cassava Biscuit). Though it is not a biscuit that one would have every day at tea time, having one always brings back nice memories from childhood. Most millenials discovered the biscuit by visiting the factory during a school excursion, but for previous generations, it’s been part of their lives as there weren’t many varieties of biscuits on the market as there are today.
Biscuit Manioc is now an icon of Mauritian culture. The biscuit is made in the family-run factory Biscuiterie Rault and the artisanal production has not changed in 150 years of existence. These traditional cookies are available in Mauritius only. One of the reasons why this business is still standing strong today is because the raw material (cassava) is available on the grounds of Biscuiterie Rault. The biscuit gained popularity during the First World War as ingredients were readily available compared to other factories who had to import flour.
How are the Cassava Biscuits Made?
When you enter the factory you get the feeling of going back in time with the weighing equipment dating back to 1839, along with other equipment having the same look and feel. In all these years, the manufacturing process did not change much. Everything is still pretty much handmade and the biscuits don’t contain any preservatives and coloring agents. On top of that, they are also gluten-free.
Once harvested, the cassava is washed, peeled, crushed and then grounded. The cassava flour obtained is then sieved manually before being mixed with other ingredients to make the biscuit.
The biscuits are cooked on metal plates heated in a very special way; through the burning of dried banana leaves or sugar cane leaves. Once cooked, the cookies are ready to be packed and this process is also done manually. The fact that everything is made by hand, leaves the biscuits very rough-looking which adds to the charm.
Various Biscuit Manioc Flavours
To suit everyone's taste buds, the biscuits are available in different flavours; butter, milk, coconut, chocolate, vanilla, star anise, grilled sesame seeds and cinnamon. Some argue that all the biscuits taste the same but a connoisseur will know the flavour when tasted.
You might not like the biscuit the first time you have one - you may find it too dry which is normal as biscuit manioc is usually accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee. Try it a few times, let your mouth get used to the taste and you will grow to like it.
Where to Get Biscuit Manioc in Mauritius?
Even if the biscuits are not exported, they are available at the Rault Biscuiterie in Mahebourg if you are paying them a visit or in almost every supermarket and shops around the island.