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Tonka Bean - Spices in Grenada

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

Tonka Bean is not well known as a spice compared to our black gold, nutmeg and the red petticoat "mace". However, Tonka Bean can be found in Grenada, and is one of the spices that makes Grenada called the "spice isle".


Tonka Bean is black in colour, and has a wrinkly skin, and is medium sized. It looks similar to a big raisin.

Tonka beans


Tonka Bean originated in South America. The word "tonka" is of Amerindian origin from South America. Tonka bean is the fruit of the tree, Dipteryx Odorata.


Tonka Bean has a very strong aroma.


Tonka Bean can be used in baking to flavour cakes and puddings. Tonka Bean can be grated and incorporated in cake mixtures.

Tonka Bean contains a chemical "coumarin". Tonka Bean is used in the cosmetic industry in fragrances and soaps. Also, Tonka bean can be used in liquor and tobacco.


You can find tonka bean spice in the Grand Anse vendors market, the Saturday market at the National Stadium, Grenville market in St. Andrew's and other local spice shops in Grenada.

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