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February 21, 2002

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Zanzibar made its name with spice. The island commonly called Zanzibar is Unguja, part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, but no matter, people don't care about the right name, only the spices (besides, Zanzibar sounds much better than Unguja). Our guide, Hassan, took us to the spice plantations in the island's heart. We sneezed through forests covered with pepper vines, gorged ourselves on strange fruits, and smelled sweet cloves.
We tried dorians, custard apples, lychees, mangos, and shown here a new favorite - jack fruit, which is the size of a watermelon, yellow inside, and tastes like a mix of pineapple, banana, and almond.
Hassan took us to his home and fed us a local dish, spice rice, or pilau.
People harvest coconuts by using banana leaf ropes and climbing to the top.
So much spice: cinnamon, pepper, curry, cocoa. This fleshy fruit with the red seed is nutmeg.
There's even a plant that provides a natural lipstick.