Purple bougainvillea flowers hung thick and rope-like over the sand-colored walls, their little white hearts nearly pulsating in the blazing noon heat of Rabat, Morocco. The door of The English Bookshop stood half-opened. The stern English proprietor stood behind the counter, his thin pale fingers reaching into scuffed cardboard boxes, filled with the newest shipment of books … More In the Scent of Cinnamon, a Whiff of Medieval Humoral Theory
In spite of French presence in India for a couple of centuries, trying to find Indian curry in France tends to be a bit of a chore. The first Indian restaurant didn’t open in Paris until 1975. Those in the know (mostly British expatriates pining for curry in London) lament the lack of good Indian food, … More To India, via Paris’s Le Passage Brady
In France, you’ll find sablés, buttery cookies that originated in Normandy. (You know they had all that butter to get rid of there.) Most sablés are sweet. But in Provence, for the famous Thirteen Desserts of Christmas Eve, cooks prefer savory little disks perfumed with fennel and cumin. Cumin? How did cumin get into mix? … More The Provençal Thirteen: Fennel- and Cumin-Scented Sablés
Once used as money instead of gold in Don Quixote’s Spain, saffron costs upwards of $1000 US per pound. Indeed, the world’s costliest spice. Most likely you will not have ever seen saffron for sale in your local grocery’s spice department. Knowledgeable customers ask the store managers for it; they keep it behind the counter, … More Saffron: The Gold We Eat
[A photograph, and nothing more, for silent contemplation.]
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