The island of Grenada is getting ready to host the 2nd Pure Grenada Nutmeg Spice Festival, a two week nationwide celebration that is becoming one of the top events on the spice island. The 10-day festival begins on November 22 with an exciting schedule of events that include competitions, exhibitions, culinary displays and community activities lasting up until December 8.
The highlight of the festival is a culinary competition hosted by the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA) on November 24, when a selection of hotels and restaurants from across the island will be challenged to create new dishes and cocktails with nutmeg and other spices as a key ingredient. They will compete for top prizes with the best creations to be served throughout the duration of the festival.
The schedule also includes the Spice Divas in Concert on November 22, which will highlight the extraordinary talent of Grenadian artists with a focus on women in concert. Also on the calendar is a photography display featuring selected works by established and up-and-coming photographers that will explore the theme of Grenada nutmeg and other spices.
Grenada: Nutmeg on tree. Photo: ©Freddy D Frederick Photography via Pure Grenada Nutmeg Spice Festival.
The True Blue Bay Resort and Calabash Hotel is the venue for a Spa and Wellness Day on November 28 that will explore the healing properties of nutmeg and other spices that generations of Grenadians have been using for health and beauty purposes. Providers and product manufactures will come together for this one day event to promote the growing spa and wellness industry and give visitors a chance to learn some of the beauty and wellness secrets Grenadians have long practiced and enjoyed.
On December 7, tour operators will take visitors on the Pure Grenada Special Nutmeg and Spice Trail in a Meet and Greet Programme that will give take them on historical journey of exploration to find out why Grenada is known as the Spice Island of the Caribbean. Other activities include the planting of nutmeg trees at select schools and community farms, and competitions that highlight innovative local products such as tea, textile, cheese and chocolate that have their roots in the popular spice.
The festival closes on December 8 with a bartenders’ spice cocktail competition at the Prickly Bay Marina. Bartenders will be required to produce three cocktails (rum, vodka and non-alcoholic) all of which must contain a blend of Grenada nutmeg and spices for judging and sampling.
The festival is a celebration of Grenada’s long and rich history with the nutmeg since the spice arrived on the island from Indonesia in 1843. Nutmeg and spice production has become intertwined with Grenadian heritage and traditions, earning it the nickname as the ‘Isle of Spice. Today, the small Caribbean island is the world’s second largest producers of nutmeg behind Indonesia, producing superior quality nutmeg, cinnamon, cocoa, clove, bay leaf and many other products.
The nutmeg has been used over several centuries as a healing herb and is believed to be a potent remedy for numerous ailments. Folk remedies claim nutmeg has the ability to enhance a man’s virility, keep away boils, and treat broken bones and rheumatism. The spice is also popular as a natural aromatherapy ingredient, and is often used in handmade soaps and candles.