All About the Isle of Spice

All About the Isle of Spice

On February 7th, Grenada celebrates its 49th year of Independence. Grenada usually celebrates with official ceremonies and a string of parades. This country is so rich in culture and history. So here are 10 facts about the Isle of Spice.

Spice Isle/Isle of Spice 

The Spice Isle is the nickname adopted by Grenada, due to the fact that it produces a wide variety of spices. The country produces and exports the second largest amount of Nutmeg (after Indonesia). If you look, a nutmeg appears on the left hand side of the flag.

Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park

Grenada is also home to the world's first Underwater Sculpture Park. The sculptures were created in 2006 and are constructed from concrete and steel. They’re around 15 tons and bolted to the sea floor. The sculptures include:

  • Christ of the Deep by Troy Lewis 
  • The Vicissitudes, sculptures of 26 children in total holding hands in a circle. It is theorised that they represent enslaved people who were thrown off of ships, others believe it represents the circle of life. The true meaning has yet to be disclosed but is an iconic piece nonetheless 
  • The Lost Correspondent or Newspaper Man, a cement piece also by Taylor 

It is five metres deep. The sculptures can be viewed by Scuba Diving and Snorkelling however Scuba Diving is highly recommended. There are a total of 75 sculptures. This beautiful underwater park is located at Moliniere point on the west coast of Grenada. 

Camo is a No-Go

Both Civilians & Tourists are banned from wearing camouflage clothing in several Caribbean countries (including Grenada), where police are often seen wearing military-style gear. It’s viewed as military only clothing and should be used as such to avoid mistaking civilians as officers or army personnel.

History of the Flag

  • The current flag of Grenada consists of two yellow triangles on the top and bottom, two green triangles on the left and right which is surrounded by a red border with six stars (three on the top and three on the bottom), connected in the middle by a red disc with a yellow star in the centre matching the stars within the border. On the left of the flag sits a nutmeg. This beautiful flag was created the year Grenada gained independence in 1974 by artist Anthony C. George.
  • The first colonial Grenadian flag was, like most flags in the British colony, a navy blue based flag with a union jack in its top left corner and a badge. The first badge (from 1875-1903) depicts enslaved people on a sugar cane mill and the second badge (1903-1974) depicts a ship that was believed to represent Columbus with an inscription in Latin ‘clarior e tenebris’ meaning ‘light out of the darkness’
  • In 1967 the country adopted a flag when it became a British Associated State. The flag was blue, yellow and green (horizontally and in that order) with a nutmeg in the centre in a white oval with a yellow/gold rim. This was replaced by Grenada’s current flag when they gained independence in 1974.

Oil Down

Grenada’s national dish is called Oil-Down after the manner in which it is cooked. This dish is made up of Breadfruit, dumplings, turmeric, salted meat, chicken, vegetables & callaloo stewed in coconut milk, herbs and spices. There is no set recipe for this dish as each family has their own way of cooking it. 

  • Other cultural dishes include:
    • Fried Bake & Saltfish
    • Pelau
    • Crab Back
    • Curried Goat
    • Roti
    • Nutmeg Ice-Cream
    • Sweet Potato Pudding 

No Snakes

Despite the fact that close to half of the island is covered in forest no venomous snakes can be found. 

History of its Name

When Columbus came across modern-day Grenada he named it ‘Concepcion’ a year later it was named ‘Mayo’ by a few explorers who came across it. When the French took over they named it Le Grenade, meaning pomegranate, then when the British took over they gave the country the name Grenada.

U.S. Invasion of Grenada 

In 1983 the U.S. invaded Grenada with 6,000 troops in total. By the end of the invasion 60 Cuban and Grenadan troops were killed. This invasion was carried out under President Reagan. The invasion date is now a national holiday called ‘Thanksgiving Day’ and falls on October 25th

Leatherback Turtles

These reptiles are the largest living species and can be found on Grenada's shores. The largest nesting population can be found on Levera Beach. There are only 35,000 female Leatherback Turtles left and only 1,000 of their hatchlings make it to adulthood. Thus makes them a critically endangered species.

Quick Fact

Grenada is a part of the Windward Islands and a commonwealth nation. It is one of the smallest independent countries in the western hemisphere.  

Happy Grenadian Independence Day to all!