Laristan is famous for the condiment called mahiabeh (fish-jelly), a compound of pounded small sprat-like fish, salt, mustard, nutmeg, cloves and other spices, used as a relish with nearly all foods.
Cloves, however, form its chief product, though the trade in them is less important than formerly, when the Dutch prohibited the rearing of the clove-tree in all the other islands subject to their rule, in order to secure the monopoly to Amboyna.
This phenomenon was minutely studied by Boyle, who found that solutions in some essential oils (oil of cloves) showed the same character, whilst in others (oils of mace and aniseed) there was no phosphorescence.
Many of the roots and vegetables of Europe have been introduced, as well as some of those peculiar to the tropics, including maize, millet, yams, manioc, dhol, gram, &c. Small quantities of tea, rice and sago, have been grown, as well as many of the spices (cloves, nutmeg, ginger, pepper and allspice),' and also cotton, indigo, betel, camphor, turmeric and vanilla.
A large portion of the island is richly wooded, and sago, cocoa-nuts and cloves (which are indigenous) are abundantly produced.