Friday, October 24, 2008

The Spice Farm Tour

On the third day in Zanzibar, we decided to go on a tour of a spice farm. Zanzibar is a spice island, known throughout for their spices such as Vanilla, Cardamom, Cinnamon and especially Cloves. We went out to the spice farm away from Stone Town. When we arrived, we got a guide and started the tour with one well known very expensive spice, Cardamom. Cardamom grows in small pods that are green. They turn yellow when they are ripe and ready to be picked. Cardamom doesn't have a harvesting season. When an individual pod or plant is ready, it is picked. There is no time of year that you have to plant it and harvest it. We then moved on to Turmeric, an orangish root that will stain everything it touches, even my camera!!! When women want to get rid of pimples here, they make a paste out of Turmeric that will make them go away. We saw many other spices and fruits such as Ginger, Cassava, Pepper, Coffee, Avocado Trees, Bananas, Pineapples, Lemon Grass, Nutmeg, Lichee and Papaya. Then we arrived at the Queen of Spices, Cinnamon. Cinnamon is the Queen of Spices as it all can be used. The bark, twigs and leaves of the Cinnamon tree can be used to make the fine smelling spice that we know in the US. You know, the rolled bark that you see back home? That wasn't human made. When the bark dries, it naturally becomes darker and rolls into that position. Then, you use it whole. But you can also use the bark without it being rolled.

We also saw Cloves, the King of Spices. The Clove is the King of Zanzibarian Spices because they make the most money off of it.

We also saw a Vanilla Plant, the second most expensive spice, but it was out of season. At the very end, a man climbed a large Coconut Palm and threw down some Coconuts for everyone to taste.

We also got to taste a Jackfruit which has the texture of plastic and the taste of Pineapples and Bananas. We could also buy spices!!! (Mom wouldn't let me though.)

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