While on vacation in Zanzibar I went to a spice plantation. It was amazing, I learned so much about the spices I use on a daily basis.
CinnamonDid you know that you can use more than just the bark off a cinnamon tree? At the spice plantation I learned that the root can be used like Vicks VapoRub and smells nothing like cinnamon. The root is used to treat colds, influenza, and inflammation of the joints. It is also used to treat digestive problems.
nutmegDo you know how nutmeg is grown? Nutmeg is actually the seed of a tree that has been removed from the protective flesh and dried out. You can see a red membrane covering the seed in this photo, that is called mace. It can be dried and ground up and used just like nutmeg. They have similar flavours but mace is the more delicate out of the two and used for its bright orange, saffron–like hue it imparts.
spice tourI also learned that spices can be used as makeup. This particular spice (I cannot remember the name of it to save my life) is used as lipstick and can also be used as face paint.
Cautionary note: If you have food allergies I strongly recommend NOT putting plant makeup on your face. I had to take it off just after this shot was taken because I was getting so itchy.
Helpful books available at the library:
Spice: the history of temptation by Jack Turner
The magic teaspoon by Victoria Zak
The spice merchant’s daughter: recipes and simple spice blends for the American kitchen by Christina Arokiasamy

One thought on “Spice

  1. Dorothy

    Dear Rachel, the photo of Zanzibar spices is fantastic. I am Tanzanian living in Norway now and I have been to spice tour but I have never taken such a beautful photo. Keep it up!! By the way, can I use it on a little brochure about the spice tour in Zanzibar…?? Thank you for your permission. My email is dorothy@visittanzania-africa.com.


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