LUX* guests aren’t the only ones to benefit from Reunion’s sun-blessed climate; fruits and spices such as coffee, geranium, lychee, turmeric, coconut, fig bananas, mangoes and tea all thrive in the warm tropical air. But if there’s one culinary icon that represents Reunion Island, it has to be the Queen Victoria pineapple. Grown year-round on the island since 1668, this small, sweet and vitamin-rich variety is beloved for its soft flesh and delicate perfume, and consumed with gusto at every meal of the day, sweet or savoury – in jams, salads and sauces, or simply served in slices.
At LUX* Saint Gilles, our executive chef pairs Victoria pineapple with another of the island’s most highly prized gastronomic stars: bourbon vanilla, which has been cultivated here since 1841, when Edmond Albius, a 12-year-old slave, revolutionised global gastronomy by discovering how to pollinate the vanilla orchid by hand. Cubes of pineapple are simmered in vanilla syrup and honey, wrapped in crispy filo pastry, drizzled with a vanilla-caramel sauce and served with – naturally – vanilla ice cream. The result is a tribute to Reunion Island’s historic contribution to global cuisine – and utterly delicious to boot.