The West Indies island of Grenada is often referred to as Spice Island, a name it earned for its wealth of spices, which were highly prized during the colonial era. Present-day Grenada is a leading producer of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, bay leaf, turmeric and nutmeg. The island is also getting props for its locally made chocolate.
There’s nothing like a Caribbean market for enjoying a heaping helping of local color. On Grenada, travelers are advised to head to the Spice Market in Market Square in downtown St. George’s, the capital city of the island. The Spice Market is open every day — to get the maximum effect, try to visit on a Saturday morning, when the market is at its busiest. Chefs from local restaurants come early, usually around 6 a.m., to score the best produce. More laid back Grenadians wander into the market around 11 a.m. to buy a few things for home, socialize and have a light meal.
In addition to fresh produce and spices, there are multiple stalls in Market Square selling souvenirs, making the market a one-stop shop for buying gifts to bring home.
English is the official language of Grenada, so American visitors can easily interact with vendors, although some of them lapse into a type of spirited Creole patois, which left me scratching my head a few times. Once you get past their initial reserve, Grenadians are incredibly friendly. Even so, when at the market, always ask beforehand if you can take someone’s picture since some vendors balk at being photographed.
If traveling with only a carry-on, be careful when buying spices since most bottles will be over the 3.4 oz. limit. On my return home, I had no problem passing through security with small bottles in gift packages, which are on sale throughout the market.
After visiting the market, if a visitor is intrigued by Grenada’s spice heritage, they can tour working farms such as Belmont Estate to see cocoa production in full sway, or tour the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station, where the island’s prize crop is readied for market. Getting around Grenada is easy since the island is only 11 miles wide by 21 miles long.
Post from USA Today