June 18, 2010


See Nutmeg being grown and harvested in the Spice plantations of Kerala, on Kerala tours, with Kerala Backwater. When you tour the spice plantations of Kerala you might be reminded of a popular children's nursery rhyme which has the following lines: "I had a little nut tree/ Nothing would it bear/ But a Silver Nutmeg / And a Golden Pear / The King of Spain's daughter / Came to visit me/ and all for the sake / Of my little nut tree!" The poem refers to the historical importance of Nutmeg, which was an important commercial crop in the 19th century. European trading companies including the Dutch, English and French, fought over Nutmeg seeds and manipulated supplies to ensure a shortage of Nutmeg and tried to keep prices elevated in European markets. Nutmeg is used as a flavoring agent in various culinary dishes, including cakes and puddings. When you travel to Kerala you can see Nutmeg grow in abundance in the spice plantations of Kerala with Kerala Backwater.

Nutmeg plants:

The botanical name of the Nutmeg tree is Myristica fragrans. The Nutmeg tree is a tropical evergreen tree, which was originally only found in the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Introduced to India by colonial traders, Nutmeg now grows abundantly in the spice plantations of Kerala. The Nutmeg tree can grow up to 20 meters. The Nutmeg fruit looks similar to an Apricot. When the fruit is ripe, it splits revealing a crimson seed cover and a brown seed. The seed cover is harvested and dried as the spice called Mace. The seed is gathered as Nutmeg. Its shell is broken and the Nutmeg kernels, which are grayish-brown, oval-shaped seeds, with rough surfaces, are collected. Nutmeg is powered and used to add flavor to many dishes and is also used in the perfume industry. Nutmeg also has medicinal properties and is used in the form of oil to treat rheumatism.

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful idea and I hope we can trade some spices along the way or at least sit and sip some tea together in this or that "caravanseralio"... Looking forward to seeing your "safar" from the other end maybe meet in Ili or Kashi ... good luck on your new undertaking, like a modern Ibn Batuta.