Grenada is called the spice isle for a reason. As soon as you arrive, your nose is sweetly greeted. Stepping off of the plane, it immediately becomes clear that here even the air is well seasoned. It is a vibrant island, full of things to enjoy. Every sense is titillated. There is so much to take in and experience.
When I travel to Grenada, it inspires olfactory memories. While walking throughout the island, I regularly come upon the pleasing aroma of mangoes over-ripening. They’re so plentiful there, that many fall from the trees and go uneaten. But even rotting, they smell sweet.
There is always the delicious scent of good Caribbean cooking weaving its way out of a window that has been left open to catch a breeze. I am reminded of my grandmother’s feasts—her curried chicken for roti, fried fish, stewed goat, or pilau. Weekly, we’d take a picnic to Bathway Beach. There, her savory dishes would mingle with the salted air of the sea—becoming even more delicious.
Grenada is a colorful isle. It is lush and lavish with green. Sprinkled throughout is the vibrant red of the Flamboyant trees. Houses there are never drab. They’re painted in happy pastel hues. Even the roofs are colorful—they’re often red too. The brilliant blue of the sea becomes clear around your feet. It catches the light of the sun so that it’s surface sparkles like there are stars dancing beneath.
Whenever I visit Grenada, there are a few things I must do to fully indulge my senses in the island’s rich offerings. I must feel the temperate waters of Grand Anse Beach embracing my body. I must taste a mango and eat a chicken roti. I want to savor freshly made golden apple or passion fruit juice on my tongue. I will enjoy rising early to the rooster’s crow and falling asleep to the sound of singing frogs. Calypso music is also a common soundtrack there. It can often be heard spilling out of a neighbor’s radio or a passing car.
I love Grenada for many reasons. I value seeing members of my family tree and where my parents grew up. It evokes a deeper connection to who I am, the people who raised me, and where I’m from. It is a place with a different pace. I have no choice but to let the hot arms of the near-equatorial sun take hold of me and slow me down.
I am connected to Grenada; Grenada is a part of me. The food is seasoned with nostalgia. The air is perfumed with fruits and spices and memories. I breathe it all in deeply, and everything smells sweet.