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Spice up your life in Grenada: The Isle of Spice

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Imagine relaxing on Gran Anse Beach, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, alongside bluer-than-blue waters, rich golden sand and lemon trees in the background.  You’re in Grenada, the spice island of the Caribbean.

Image Courtesy of Grenada Board of TourismGrenada, the Isle of Spice

Now, there’s a reason why Grenada is called the spice island.  Since its discovery in 1492, Grenada and its islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique have been used for its rich, fertile soil. 

The first agricultural industry in Grenada was the sugar cane industry.  The sugar cane was used and distilled into rum.  Later, other spices were planted – giving Grenada its nickname, “the spice island of the Caribbean.”  Today, Grenada is one of the world’s largest suppliers of spices like nutmeg, allspice, clove, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves, tumeric, and mace.  

Spice Estates & Plantations to visit in Grenada

When visiting Grenada today, don’t miss out on one its most fascinating attractions – its spice estates and plantations.  Here are a handful sites that you shouldn’t miss!

Belmont Estate is found just an hour outside of St George’s.  The estate offers a real and eco-friendly taste of Grenada, its history, culture, flavours and traditions.  The 300-year-old plantation offers tours of the cocoa plantation, a restaurant and café, museum, goat dairy, animals, gardens, crafts, and more.  For more, go to: www.belmontestate.net .

Nutmeg - Image Courtesy of Grenada Board of TourismGrenada Sugar Factory is run by Clarke’s Court Rum, and is a must-see for visitors in Grenada.  Surrounded by sugarcane fields, the Grenada Sugar Factory has been in operation since 1937 and is the island’s best-known largest distillery.  When visiting, a short tour will take you through the history of the distillery and the different processes that go into making rum.  Finally, the tour ends with a rum sampling and recipes on mixing rum drinks.  Go to www.clarkescourtrum.com for more.  

Dougaldston Estate & Barracks is a historical monument to Grenada’s spice industry as one of the island’s oldest and largest nutmeg plantations.  The estate is a classic example of an old-fashioned spice processing station with barracks and living quarters for slaves.  When visiting, you can learn about the processes of harvesting spices like nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves, and buy bags of spices at $2 each.    

Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station is the largest nutmeg processing station in Greanada and offers a 20-minute tour for $1/person.  This goes to say a lot since Grenada is the second largest producer of nutmeg in the world, producing 1/3rd of the world’s supply.  The tour brings you through the nutmeg processiong process of storing, cracking, sorting, water testing and grading.  Try to visit on a Friday, as the town of Gouyave is especially known for its Fish Fridays evenings.

Rivers Antoine Rum Estate dates back to 1785 and has changed little since then.  It is the oldest functioning water-propelled distillery in the Caribbean and produces Rivers Royal Grenadian White Rum (75% alcohol) as well as bananas.  Today, you can take the tour of the plantation for $2/person and see how rum was made in the 18th century. 

For more on visiting Grenada, go to: www.grenadagrenadines.com .

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