That changed on a visit to Comoros, the small African archipelago set in the channel between Mozambique and Madagascar. There the national dish is langouste à la vanille—local lobster drizzled in a vanilla sauce. I had my first taste of it at a rustic beachside restaurant on the Comoro island of Anjouan. The langouste, or rock lobster, had been caught that day then grilled over an open flame. Equal parts briny from the sea and smoky from the fire, it got an unexpected but delightful dose of sweetness and floral aroma from the addition of a slow-simmered vanilla cream sauce, more French than African with touches of white wine, shallots, and butter. In the breezy shade of a palm tree, watching fishing boats come and go while children played in the surf, it was the perfect meal.