Friday, February 29, 2008

blog entry # 2: holy stinking !@#$%

okay, so my package of various Indian spices arrived and before even picking up the package, i noticed a fetid (which would be зловонный in Russian) stench emanating from it. it smelled like durian. if you have never had the great misfortune of tasting a durian, you absolutely have to, no matter the cost or inconvenience. (thank you, Betsy, for bringing me one back in our raw food days; i will never forget it, no matter how hard i try).

anyway, i open the package and begin pulling out packets of spices: black cumin seeds, nigella seeds, then a jar of tamarind paste (which had some sort of animal hair stuck to the outside), some pomegranate seeds, the mango powder...then, the source of the noxious fumes. it was the asafoetida, which on Wikipedia's website, is also described as: devil's dung, stinking gum, asant, food of the gods, hing, Hilteet, and giant fennel. i vote for "devil's dung." being the brainiac that i am, i lifted the container up to my innocent nostrils and took a fairly large sniff. i nearly fell down (which is what happened when i smelled durian). the smell was so obtrusive that i could actually taste it, and now, an hour and half later, i can still taste it. i can't wait to try it in a recipe.

so who's coming for dinner?