Hog Island, Grenada:
January 22, 2011
Put some passion in your winter I’m just back from spending a week with my 90-year-old dad in New Jersey (which is why there was no posting last week). Before I headed north, I did some shopping in downtown St. George’s so I could bring Dad a taste of Grenada. Dark chocolate from the Grenada Chocolate Company was a given. So too were cocoa balls for cocoa tea. But then I also headed to a little shop called Caribbean Naturals (part of the Grenada Craft Centre) to pick up some “bilimbi pickle.”
A friend had gifted me a jar of this hot-and-spicy condiment flavored with curry, peppers, and mustard seed, and I was pretty sure Dad would enjoy it. Its main ingredient, bilimbi (also called “one finger”), is a sour, acidic fruit that looks kind of like a smooth-skinned pickling cucumber. It doesn’t grow on a vine, however, but on a small tree – straight out of the trunk, in bunches. I’ve yet to see one growing, or find fresh ones for sale, but Caribbean Spice Island Plants (my indispensable guide to the island’s flora) contains a most intriguing fact about fresh bilimbi: If a small bit is eaten raw and immediately followed by a drink of water, “the sourness on the tongue changes to a sweetish sensation.” Wow. It sounds like a Caribbean version of the miracle fruit, and now I’ll be asking all the Grenadians I know for a source of raw bilimbi so I can give it a try.
Caribbean Spice Island Plants goes on to say, however, that usually the fruit is pickled, candied, or used in sauces. Dad and I both loved the bilimbi pickle, and we managed to polish off the whole jar during my visit.
I also brought him a jar of another Caribbean Naturals product, called “passion fruit honey.” When I questioned the owner, that turned out to be a bit of a misnomer, as bees had nothing to do with its creation. It’s an intensely concentrated syrup made from passion fruit, with an amazing floral aroma and a citrusy tart-sweet taste – but with a honeylike consistency. Dad and I enjoyed it instead of conventional honey in tea, and we puddled it on waffles.
USA - May 2011
While vacationing in Grenada I received an amazing massage and facial treatment... my skin was so soft after and the natural aromas of the oils were just perfect. I asked the therapist where the oils were from and I was directed to Debbie at Caribbean Naturals. I was sure to stop there before I left Grenada and I am so pleased with the products I purchased. The coconut massage oil is just decadent and smells amazing. The lemon massage oil is also great, I use this all natural blend on my body as well as my face. I am so happy to have found these products and will get them regularly shipped to New York. Thank You Again. Krista Mooney
GRENADA - November 2013
THE INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE GRANT - Click on link below - Press play button to listen.
USA - January 2015
Hi Debbie, I could not of been happier with my recent experience buying the Caribbean Naturals Soaps from you. When I first inquired, you responded quickly and then you were so willing to make the smaller soaps for me. We were purchasing 26 bars for a bridal shower we were giving my niece, who after their wedding, are moving to Grenada. The soaps came on time, perfectly wrapped and just as you as described them. We bagged them in clear cellophane bags and tied them with raffia ribbon and they looked darling on the tables. The bride to be loved them along with all the guests. They loved how we tied the theme of the shower into where they will soon be moving. Thank you so much for being so easy to work with and providing the soaps exactly like we wanted. A very happy customer!!!