There are certain ingredients that can be found in every Grenadian kitchen. These are the essential seasonings and spices which give our cooking its unique and distinct flavour.
The following list of ingredients is not exhaustive but are top of every shopping list or grown locally in every herb garden!
- Onion & garlic – the holy grail of Grenadian cooking, if you have no other seasoning, onion and garlic are a MUST!
- Thyme – This herb is a favourite in herb gardens across the island. Used both fresh and dried, this seasoning is widely used in soups, stews and meats.
- Chive – This herb is of the onion family and is grown widely in local herb gardens across the island. A perfect compliment to onion and garlic for more depth of flavour.
- Clove – These dried buds add a definite kick to soups, stews, curries and meats especially beef, mutton, pork.
- Big Thyme – Locally known as ‘poor man’s pork’, this herb adds the freshness of mint to many local dishes. This herb is easy to grow both indoors and outdoors and is a key ingredient in Grenadian green seasoning and widely used in soups, stews, rice, curry.
- Seasoning pepper – Not to be confused with scotch bonnet pepper, this pepper is the secret to authentic Grenadian cooking. This pepper is a mellow blend of heat and flavour, and are used in every dish from meats, to rice, soups and sauces.
- Ginger- Locally grown and used both fresh and dried, this spice/seasoning is very versatile. It’s used as tea, as a drink (ginger beer) and as seasoning in curries and stews and when frying fish.
- Turmeric (locally called saffron) – This tuber is also used both dried and fresh. It’s most popular use is in our national dish Oildown, it’s also used as tea or in curries and sauces.
- Cinnamon – Grenada is known as the isle of Spice as it is the world’s third largest producer of spices so it is no surprise that this spice finds itself at the forefront of our cooking. Used for breakfast as tea or to flavour desserts and sweets, no Grenadian home is complete without some cinnamon!
- Nutmeg – Locally referred to as Grenada’s black gold, this spice is what gives Grenada its reputation as the Isle of Spice. Grenada is the world’s third largest exporter of nutmegs. This spice is used in drinks, confectionery like jams and jellies, desserts, baking, dry rub for meats, even medicine (Nutmed). The entire fruit is used in some way or the other.