December 20, 2010

Holiday Inspiration from the Spice Island.

Tis the season for over-imbibing and over-indulgence. But instead of sharing the standard bottle of red wine at your next holiday party, why not try something a little more inspired?! 

I came across the following recipes for Jamie Oliver's mulled wine and a holiday sangria featured on the Sprouted Kitchen, and the combination of winter fruits, warm spices and clementines all brought about immediate associations of the Christmas season in my mind. So drink it warm or cold, depending on your locale, but either way tis the season to add some spice in your life!
Interestingly, both of these recipes hit close to "home" not because mulled wine or sangria are holiday staples in our family, but rather because of my current proximity to Zanzibar, otherwise known as the "Spice Island." Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island approximately 20 miles off the Tanzania mainland, has a long history of growing spices. In 1698, Zanzibar fell under the control of the Sultanate of Oman, which developed an economy of trade and cash crops with a ruling Arab elite. They developed large plantations to grow spices, and eventually the term "Spice Island" was coined in reference to Zanzibar. Today, spices continue to be one of Zanzibar's main industries, together with tourism. The islands are particularly well known for their production of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper. 

Tourists to Zanzibar are welcomed to join any number the daily spice tours excursions to the plantations within easy reach of Stonetown. We had the pleasure of taking a spice tour on a recent trip to Zanzibar and it proved quite an interesting excursion. Perhaps in this case pictures are worth a 1000 words.
the "spicy" boy.
fru-ITs and spices.

Photo Credits: 
# 1 and #2:
As a side note: the photography on this site is amazing, and makes the blog well worth reading alone, even if cooking is not a personal interest. I highly recommend perusing this site.

pictures of fru-ITs and spices: Andrei Sinioukov

No comments:

Post a Comment