Grenada – Ever wonder where nutmeg comes from?

Just returned from the spice island of Grenada. Such a lush and stunningly beautiful island. Very friendly people and so many wonderful spices, fruits and vegetables. It is a true garden of Eden. 
 
Just to name a few, Grenada’s rich soil supplies nutmeg, mace, clove, bay leaf, cacao, ginger root, banana, breadfruit, star fruit, papaya ,cassava, limes, and too many others to name. It is said they can grow everything on the island except wheat and apples. 
Unripe cacao. When it is ripe, it turns yellow. The cacao seeds are inside
Cacao plantation with sorting and drying areas
The process of harvesting nutmeg is truly fascinating. Nutmeg grows on trees which are medium sized and when the fruit drops to the ground, it is ready to be processed. 
 
Nutmeg Tree
 
 
After drying for a few weeks the pods are dropped to crack open the outside hull to reveal the nutmeg seed, which is meshed with bright red mace. The mace is then removed and dried in boxes, while the nutmeg is graded, by being suspended in water and then further dried, sorted and packed into sacks. 
 

Nutmeg and ripe Cacao pod with seeds. Note the red colored mace surrounding the nutmeg seed

Nutmeg seeds being suspended in water to rate quality


Nutmeg, ready for shipping

 
So if you ever wondered why nutmeg was pricey and mace even more so, now you know. I can highly recommend this beautiful island for a visit. You won’t be disappointed.

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