Back to Zanzibar

The Island of Spices

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In Zanzibar, everyone is somehow connected to the spice trade. The island is a paradise of smells and flavours – certain spices even have medicinal properties. However, not many are native to the island; they were imported from Asia and South America and have since flourished thanks to the tropical climate.

Spice Tours

In Zanzibar, a wide range of spice tours awaits you. On such a tour, visitors can visit farms where they are introduced to the properties of the various spices and fruits, which can then be tasted. The "Zanzibar Food and Spices Tour" even combines the unique experience with a traditional Swahili lunch.

Food and Spices Tour

Where Pepper Grows

Zanzibar is known for its large quantities of pepper. The pepper plant is a climbing plant that can grow up to ten metres high. There is red, white, green and black pepper. What many people do not know, is that each sort of pepper comes from the same plant. However, depending on the time of harvest and processing, the peppercorns develop different colours.

Miracle Cure Cinnamon

Cinnamon not only refines the Zanzibari rice dish Pilau, but also gives many other classic dishes an aromatic flavour. The spice is extracted from the dried bark of cinnamon trees. It is said to have a positive effect on the immune system due to its antioxidant properties.

King of The Spices

The Sultan of Oman once brought cloves from Indonesia to Zanzibar. Since then, it is impossible to imagine the island without the dried buds of the clove tree. When they are harvested, they are either picked by hand or beaten out of the trees with sticks. Then the cloves – dubbed the "King of The Spices" – are dried in the sun for a few days, giving them their brown colour.

Lipstick Fruit Annatto

The reddish annatto seeds originate from tropical Latin America and are used as a seasoning, health and colouring agent. The chestnut-like fruit grows on the Bixa Orellana bush and each carry between 20 and 50 seeds. Crushing them produces a red paste, which some Zanzibari women use as lipstick. The dried seeds taste peppery and spicy.

Photo credits

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