By Vanette Colmenares
New York City — Yesterday, I went to midtown Manhattan to purchase some spices which my daughter needed for her restaurant in Cebu. It was also a chance for me to buy some for our own use at home. I wanted to try those weird sounding names that you read in cookbooks but have no knowledge about.
Initially, I wanted to buy curry powder — although it would have been better to make my own since all I needed were the right spices to create one suited for my taste. But I did not have the luxury of extra funds, so I opted to just get one pack of ready made curry. But alas! the confusion sat in when I was offered a variety of choices – Indian, Mediterranean, Singaporean, Thai or African. I wasn’t in the mood for thinking so I passed on the curry issue.
Then there’s the Garam Masala. It’s actually similar to the curry but there are varieties as well. I wanted to get this for my ‘curry dish’ but then again, the choices were overwhelming: there was the Punjabi-style, Maharastra, Bengali, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarati, all with surname Garam Masala. So I just passed it on again.
I ended up browsing the word “AFOERETIDA” on a plastic container together with other spices beside it. Its label said something like a resin gum type made from a stem of a plant which helped in the ‘aiding of less flatulence”. When translated in my linggo, this means ‘farting in my home will be brought to a minimal when you flavor your food with this spice’ So I put it in my cart.
I was getting dizzy reading so many spices made of barks, roots, mushrooms and other dried herbs that I decided to just get what I needed and proceeded to check out.
Once out of the store, I recalled why spices are important. It’s usually for reducing tumors of sorts (medically). It enhances sex life (take heed, peeps) and it helps in the weight loss. Have you ever seen an obese Indian, a hot pepper eating Thai or a spicy kimchee eating Korean? Fat chance, right?
As for my own gustatory reasons for spicing up, it’s all of the above plus the added flavor and color to any dish.
Finally, humor is the spice of life. So here’s one for you.
Boy takes a knife and starts writing his girlfriend’s name on his arm. Several minutes later, he starts crying.
Friend: Why are you crying? Is it painful carving out your GF’s name on your arm?
Guy: Pain? No! Wrong spelling!