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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday's Tanzania

Zanzibar is famous for its spice plantations which also in turn support the island's tourism business.  Thanks to Ali (last week's post), we enjoyed a wonderful and very informative tour -- who knew that the root of the cinnamon tree smelled just like Vicks-Vapo-Rub!?  (Well, actually, remember Idi?  From the village? See post here...Idi - in addition to being a brick maker and farmer - was also a traditional medicine practitioner and had taken Andrew out to collect items he needed on different occasions....and on one of these outings, when Andrew was suffering from a bad cold, Idi dug into the bottom of a tree, lifted out a small root, and told Drew to take a whiff....yep, Vicks-Vapo-Rub!).

By the end of our walking tour, I had a collection of leaves, berries, nuts, roots, and bark - all of which smelled incredible - black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla beans, curry, cardamom, cloves, cumin...more than I can recall.
At the end of our walking tour, we were treated to what I'm pretty sure was routine at all of the plantations but still a thrill to watch.  One of our guides climbed a coconut tree using only his feet, singing all the way, to retrieve fresh fruit for us to enjoy.  When he reached the top, he serenaded us some more and then lopped of a few of the coconuts, letting them drop to the ground -- and then, again, using his feet, made his way back down.


The guides split open the coconuts and passed them around to us so that we could first enjoy the milk -- what pure, fresh sweetness!  After draining both of them dry, we got to enjoy the meat of the coconut -- again, such sweetness!  I'll never be able to enjoy that package of shredded stuff from the grocery store again -- and don't suggest that I just buy a coconut....I can't even begin to think how I would manage to open one as easily as those two did it!
Next week - we tour Stone Town and meet Morgan Freeman...well, sort of.


Orion Designs said...

Fresh coconut is a special treat indeed! Here's a tip: put the drained coconut in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes. It should crack open by itself. Then use a vegetable peeler to remove the brown coating.

Mimi said...

Ooh, thanks, Vicki!

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