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nutmegs

nutmeg tree

nutmegs

Guava Products

The Nutmeg

The fruit of a tall, tropical tree, Myristica fragrens, is the source of not just one, but two aromatic spices – nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is actually the seed from the fruit of the tree, which can grow to a height of 50 feet and live up to 75 years. Although the tree bears some fruit year round, the main harvests are in March/April and October/November.

Annual world production of nutmeg is approximately 13 million pounds. Indonesia grows about two-thirds of the world’s nutmeg, while Grenada is the other major producer. Unfortunately, extensive tree damage from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 dramatically reduced the amount of nutmegs Grenada has been able to cultivate in recent years.

Nutmegs grow best in elevations of 1,500 to 2,500 feet, and thrive in nutrient-rich, volcanic soil. At or close to the harvesting season, its tree branches become laden with yellow fruit, similar in size to nectarines. The outer portion of the fruit – the largest part – is fleshy, has the consistency of an unripe nectarine, and actually tastes like nutmeg. This part of the fruit is used to manufacture Morne Délice nutmeg jam, jelly and syrup.

When the fruit fully ripens on the tree, it splits open naturally, then falls to the ground where it is collected by the farmers. Breaking open the fruit reveals a lacy, scarlet red membrane that envelops a dark brown, brittle shell. The membrane is called the aril, which turns a dull red-orange when sun-dried by the harvesters. The dried aril is mace, which has a similar taste and aroma to nutmeg, but is slightly more delicate. After the mace is removed, what remains is the hard outer shell covering the nutmeg.

The nutmeg is extremely aromatic and has one of the highest amounts of volatile oil of all spices. After being dried to develop its distinctive flavor, the outer shell is removed. Nutmegs are then sorted by size and visual appearance. The largest and most intact nutmegs are sold whole, and can be found in your local grocery store ready to be freshly grated.

guava

The Guava

The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” can easily be changed to “a guava a day keeps the doctor away.” This is because guava fruits have four times the amount of fiber, slightly more potassium and nineteen times the amount of vitamin C as an apple. Guavas are therefore an excellent source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant, recommended for the prevention of colds, cancer and other ailments.

Guavas are popular in the Caribbean as a refreshing drink either alone or in fruit punches and are also used extensively to prepare candies, syrups and jams and jellies.

Because of the high level of pectin, guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, marmalades and also to prepare juices.

grapefruit

Citrus Fruits

The citrus family is believed to have originated in Asia. Before being cultivated by humans, there were only a few identified citrus species. Today, dozens of hybrids and cultivars can be found throughout the world. The trees are evergreens and seldom exceed 9 m (30 ft) in height. The leaves are oval and glossy and the flowers are white and fragrant.

The sour or Seville orange has a bitter taste and is rarely eaten fresh. It is cultivated to a limited extent for marmalade.

The grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is an oblate citrus with yellow-orange skin and segmented and acidic flesh. Depending on the cultivar, the pulp can be white, pink or red, with flavors ranging from highly acidic and somewhat bitter to sweet and tart. The peel is known for its aroma and the oil is used as an essential oil in aromatherapy. The grapefruit is an 18th-century hybrid from Jamaica and was named the "forbidden fruit" when found in Barbados.

The Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia), also known as West Indian lime, Bartender's lime, Omami lime and Tahitian lime is a small species of citrus with a thin skin and strong aroma. It is valued for its unique tart and bitter flavor and is best known as the flavoring ingredient in Key lime pie.

pepper

"Pepper"

Capsicum is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The name "pepper" came into use because the plants were hot in the same sense as the condiment black pepper, Piper nigrum, although capsicum bears no botanical relationship to this plant. Its species are native to the Americas, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years by the people of the tropical Americas. Capsicum is now cultivated worldwide. Some of the members of Capsicum are used as spices, vegetables, and medicines. The fruit of Capsicum plants have a variety of names depending on their location and type.

Apart from being great in taste, capsicum also possesses a great degree of nutritional value and offers numerous health benefits.