Tips and useful information to help buy spices during your travel in Sri Lanka
During your trip to Sri Lanka, there are many ways to taste spices: trying the local delicious cuisine or experiencing ayurvedic treatments that use balms and oils derived from locally grown spices.
Since ancient times, Sri Lanka has captured the Western world’s attention with its abundance of spices. To the Europeans (Greeks, Romans) and the Arabs, these spices were exotic and therefore essential to trade. Greeks, Romans and Arabs called Sri Lanka “Taprobane” and have valued the island for its spice trade.
The spice trade was also important to the Portuguese, Dutch and British. To date, this fascination continues and Sri Lanka offers a great way for foreign tourists to get accustomed to the wonderful world of spices.
Nearly 400 types of unique spices grow on this island, including coriander, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and turmeric. Spices are used both in Sri Lankan cuisine and to concoct natural remedies in Ayurveda medicine.
Sri Lanka has formed a Spice Council to regulate the trade of this precious and exotic cargo. Tourists can now tour spice plantations to get a taste of the spices. You can even pick up aromatic soaps, bath oils and incense sticks made from these places.
The simplest way is to get a peek at spice cultivation is to visit spice gardens found in the hill country of Sri Lanka. Aside from soaking in the sights, you can shop for traditional remedies, natural cosmetics and herbal brews to be taken back as souvenirs.