Photo of a stone Buddhist figure holding a pyramid of spices at a travel agency on rue Mabillion, Paris.
I grew up longing for something exotic
perhaps a little spicy
anything but my plain white bread upbringing
So I set out for the big city
where I surrounded myself with colourful characters
sampled international cuisine
Developed a taste for the exotic and unusual
visited open-air markets in the Middle East
where the beauty of stacks of bright spices
arranged in towers or pyramids
rivaled the intoxicating smell
in an overwhelming fusion for the senses
Like a child, longing to dip my hands
into the enticing colours
and cover myself head to toe in powders
I sat on a cushion in a Bedouin tent
watching as women deftly mixed spices by hand
like an alchemist's elixir
Tantalising smells wafting past me
as the food slowly cooked to perfection
nothing written down
Recipes shared only within their tribe
I coaxed and cajoled, but all pleas refused.
"The secret's in the spices."
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