A Sniff of Spicy Grenada

March 13, 2008

Wandering along the congested corridors of the trade show at Seatrade I picked up a scent of nutmeg. Mind-sensory tie-ins being what they are, it immediately reminded me of rum punch which then led to memories of a lovely, lazy lunch one day in port in Grenada at the Nutmeg Palace.

So, turning the corner, it was no surprise to stumble onto, yes, you guessed it, Grenada's booth at Seatrade. A big basket was filled with nutmeg, still in its shell, along with big hunks of cinnamon and some bay leaves. Bliss. Indeed, Grenada markets itself as "the spice island" because it's known as a home for the growing of nutmeg, natch, but also saffron, vanilla, bay leaves, cloves, ginger and cinnamon.

It's also a very popular port of call for Southern Caribbean cruises, and what's new there is a port facility that houses local craft booths and cafes and the ubiquitous duty free shops. Not much else is new which is part of the charm. The cafes that ring the Carenage are a prime destination (before, after or instead of tours of the lush island's interior); don't miss out on two indigenous culinary treats: "Oil Down," a lunch dish that's made from red fruit, meat and curry that's then steamed with coconut milk (wondering why we couldn't smell that at the Grenada booth) and of course a glass of rum punch.

The sprinkling of nutmeg on top is de rigueur.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief More stories live from Seatrade 2008!