Sunday, June 03, 2007

Spice life


Love this place

My mind reels when I consider the term "spice trade." There is so much history in it: maritime, commercial, enslaved; financial hope for small growers; graft, usury, death. All for spices; for tiny herbs that mostly were used to mask putrid food, and also to satisfy the nobility's quest for the novel, the strange.

Our car just smelled wonderful on the ride home. It's in the Eastern Market of Detroit. Spices, why yes. Tea too. Sauces. Many dried lovelies, including Israeli couscous, beans galore, and my absolute favorite: farro. Definitely not local fare, but it fills the bill for the novel, the strange.

And it is Detroit, after all. I just want to say two words to you: Soul Food. Can there be anything better than THAT?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

was there two weeks ago and the smells were terrific. The spice shop is a must whenever we visit Eastern Market

Marie (FKA Piana Nanna) said...

I love opening my cupboard door in the kitchen that holds the spices and herbs. The combinations of smells intermingle and create a new and interesting fragrance that can't be duplicated in anyone else's home. It's all yours. A sort of marking of territory.

cookiecrumb said...

Aw, El. Also the spice trade launched (urp) globalization. And triggered the "place to stay overnight while you are traveling," i.e., the inn.
I hope you got a delicious haul.

farm mom said...

Hi El, came closer to my neck of the woods this weekend, huh? :) I've never been to the Eastern Market, I thought it might be too overwhelming for a newbie like me. But someday I'll go.

El said...

Anonymous, we even smelled like the store when we left.

Marie, you're right. It's also disconcerting when you bring the new smells home: it's kind of like a strange visitor in the pantry.

CC, I didn't mean there was NO upside. (Urp.) But it does lend relevance to the term "follow the money."

And Ang, yeah, we make it over to the East Side (of the state) with some regularity due to Tom's relations. Mine, and many other great spice stores, are in Chicago, which is actually lots closer for us. Try to make it to Eastern Market sometime, though. It's a trip. In a good way!

Robbyn said...

Dont those smells ennervate (is that even a word??) you! It's like suddenly the faculty of smell rises to be queen for the moment and it's sort of a high...or at least that's how we feel when playing with spices...ALWAYS...in fact, I think if I dabbed on some great curry spice blends as "perfume," my husband would go wild (ha! hmmm...maybe for father's day?)

I always love reading your blog, El. Thanks for sharing so beautifully