Spice Tour in Zanzibar – What a learning experience!


Juanita is sampling some lemongrass

I might never think of food the same way again.

I used to think cinnamon was something you bought in the  baking aisle of the supermarket. It could be found there right next to the cloves, the nutmeg…. all in little bottles with tidy  labels.

cinnamon tree

You can cut cinnamon bark any time, but only on one side of the trunk

But where does this stuff come from? Is it from a flower, or is it a bean? Does it come from the bark of a plant, perhaps? Or maybe it’s in the root, underground?

I learned so much on the Spice Tour in Zanzibar! The guide was informative, and had a lot of fun keeping us guessing and testing our knowledge.

We smelled things, tasted others, and had a feast on fresh fruits as we wandered about the farm. We found ourselves sampling natural perfumes and being decorated with impromptu rings and bracelets made from the plants around us.


Our guide Abeid had fun while tricking us.

Have you ever seen a cat come running at the sound of coconuts dropping? As we drank fresh coconut water, the cat eagerly slurped up as much fresh coconut as we put in front of it!
To top it off, at the end of the tour we enjoyed a lovely lunch with just the right mix of different spices in the different dishes to tease our taste buds.

Now I just can’t wait to try out the spices I’ve brought home!

Juanita Jenkin

Edward’s Famous Pilau  Recipe
(serves 2 people)


Edward and Jack Fruit

Edward and Jack Fruit

Cardamom (2 teaspoons)
Cinnamon (3 sticks)
Cumin (2 teaspoons)
Garlic (1 teaspoon)
Black pepper (2 teaspoons)
Clove (optional)
Salt (1 teaspoon)

Rice (1/2 KG)
Cooking oil
Potatoes (2 big)
Onions (2)

1. Heat a pot on the stove
2. Once it is heated add 3 table spoons of cooking oil to the pot
3. Add to the pot finely chopped onions and let it sizzle
4. Blend together garlic, more onions and salt and add to the pot, fry this all together until it becomes crispy and brown.
5. Wash and add the rest of the spices Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cumin and black pepper then fry until they all become brown
6. Add ¾  litres of water and add the peeled and chopped potatoes (Clove optional) in the pot
7. Wait until the water has boiled then add the washed rice to the pot.
8. Slowly stir for a few minutes all the ingredients together so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot
9. Put the pot into the oven for 20 minutes until the mixture cooked
10.Take out the oven and is ready to serve


Vanilla needs to be pollinated by hand and it takes nine months to be ready for harvest. That’s explains the price.

coffee plant

One coffee plant provides about 400 coffee beans per year.


Better check your country’s regulations before bringing whole nutmegs with you.