For the last couple of days, I have been telling you about what I learned on my trip to Jamaica.  First I told you about the villages and beauty of the country. Yesterday, I told you about the coffee plantations.  Today, I want to tell you what I learned about one of my favorite spices.First of all on our first stop on our safari, we got to see the beautiful views from and old plantation house.  As we were getting back into the jeep our tour guide handed us a leaf (and then told us it was poison ivy, he was a funny guy) he told us to break it an smell it.  Let me tell you it was love at first smell.  It was all spice.  He told us that they take these leaves break them into pieces and cook with them.  It is the main ingredient to jerk chicken.  I held onto that leaf until the smell went away.  Then he handed us another leaf and told us to smell it, he said that if we got migraines all you had to do was grab this plant and smell it, the plant was eucalyptus.  Then he handed us a blade of grass and with one whiff of the grass I knew it was lemon grass.

After a while into our safari we were driving to another location and our tour guide stopped the jeep and jumped out and went over to a tree and picked a apricot looking fruit.  I had seen several people on the side of the road holding these in the bunches for sell.  It wasn't a fruit at all it was nutmeg.  Aparrently, this apricot looking shell is what keeps the nutmeg safe.  Once it is ready the shell will pop open to reveal this red veiny material covering a pod.  They use this red material to cook with and use it to cure stomach aches.  Inside the pod is the nutmeg.  I was amazed.  I didn't know how nutmeg grew nor did I realize it grew this way.

This for me was the highlight of my Jamaica Safari.  I love learning and this was an amazing learning experience.  However, there was one thing that scared my pants off,

As I was admiring the beauty of the country, I looked up to see that.  I don't like spiders and I sure as heck don't like spiders that big.  I jumped.  My husband laughed.  This picture doesn't do this spider justice.  In fact, five more of these critters were on this one web.  The tour guide assured me this spider wasn't poisonous.  It is called a banana spider, and they eat bugs.

Check out tomorrow's post for information on the Dunn River Falls.

As always, don’t forget to listen for your chance to win a Beaches Resorts-The Luxury Included Family Vacation, so you can experience Jamaica.  When you hear the cue to call be caller #25 to 1-877-854-WINS (9467) or sign up to win here.