on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Spice Island Spice Tour

In Zanzibar on February 20, 2009 at 2:19 am

Zanzibar, the hub of the Arabic trade route is known for its exotic spices. We took a guided group tour to see what all of this spice talk was about.

a woman tending the fields

Our tour left from Stone Town and took us about two hours into the dense mountains of Zanzibar Island.

As an Ayurvedic practitioner, I was so excited about this tour. I couldn’t wait to hear about the different spices grown here, their origins and the various ways in which they are used (in a culinary sense as well as healing).

vanilla

i wish i knew what this was

climbing the tree to get a spicy prize

Our guides were knowledgeable and led us through spice and fruit plantations, describing in detail each item as well as the origin and possible uses.

We also got to sample some great fruit.

litchi fruit

the litchis were so sweet and good

At the end of the tour, we were welcomed by the people of a local village. We played with the children and did some spice shopping as a group of local women prepared a meal for us that incorporated the spices we learned about on the tour.

inside a storage room being goofy

camera shy

camera curious

the women preparing our meal

shoes off, we ate seated on the ground over an elaborate spread of carpets

Our meal was delicious so amazing. The spices were subtle, not at all overwhelming, and blended together perfectly. This was not a spicy mystery curry moment, the food emanated gourmet goodness.

If you find yourself in Zanzibar, a spice tour is a must. There are many companies that offer these tours which depart from various points of the island. Go ahead, give one a try, you won’t be sorry.

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