27 May, 2009

The Spice Island – Grenada


Located near Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela the nation of Grenada is actually comprised of seven islands, the largest of which is known as Grenada. The capital of the nation is St. George and the population is over 110,000. The island was originally settled in the 1650’s and eventually became a French Colony. While tourism is the leading foreign source of economic wealth, it is known as the Spice Island as it produces several important spices in large quantities. These include cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

In fact, it produces so much nutmeg that it is known as the producer of 20% of the world’s production. Most people who travel to the island visit Point Salines, St. Georges, Lance Aux Epines and Grand Anse. Travel guides point out the beautiful beaches of it – in fact Grand Anse is usually in the top ten most beautiful beaches list.

Throughout most of the Caribbean, the French influence is readily seen. While the influence is not as strong in Grenada, it is still apparent. Street and place names as well as sur-names are often of French origin. French influence is often seen in food, which is often spiced much like the food of New Orleans.

The Nations dish of it is “Oildown” This is a dish that is cooked in coconut milk until it is all absorbed, leaving just a little dab of coconut oil in the bottom of the dish. Other common ingredients in Oildown is pigtails, pig feet, chicken, green banana, potatoes, flour dumplings and breadfruit. It is traditionally served in the beach. Besides food, other important aspects of Grenada’s culture are dancing, music and festivals. The most popular sport is Cricket. Finally, the art of story telling is very important on the island and many of the tales come from either African or French traditions.



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