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The Spice Trail: food and flavours from Southeast Asia

The Raffles Family Collection contains over 150 natural history and topographical drawings from Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as family correspondence and papers, and an important collection of diplomatic letters in Malay. It was acquired with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and other benefactors. 

The watercolours shown here are probably by Chinese artists based in Sumatra or Penang during the early 19th century. 

These fruits, herbs and spices are central to the cuisine and culture of Southeast Asia. In 2010, young Malaysians based in London set out on a spice trail, collecting memories, recipes and folk wisdom of how these plants are used. Find out more

Clove

Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merrill & L.M. Perry

Durian

Durio zibethinus L., Malvaceae (Bombacaceae)

Ginger

Unidentified ginger from Sumatra, Zingiberaceae

Nutmeg

Myristica fragrans Houttuyn, Myristicaceae

Pandan

Freycinetia sumatrana Hemsley, Pandanaceae

Petai

Parkia speciosa Hasskarl, Leguminosae

Pineapple

Ananas comosus (L.) Merrill, Bromeliaceae

Turmeric

Curcuma zanthorrhiza Roxburgh, Zingiberaceae

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