The Spice of Life

I cannot deny that when it comes to things culinary, I’ve gotta spice things up.  One aspect of fire recovery that has been on hold has been restocking my spice cupboard… partly due to my forgetfulness, but in large measure due to the fact that every time I wanted to go to Lam’s Asian Market on a shopping day, I was met with loud choruses of “Noooooo!!! Not Lam’s!!!  It stinks of fish!!!”  Which is true.  And so I invariably acquiesced to my family’s sensibilities… until yesterday.  I decided to brook no nonsense on the subject, stack the Asian market at the front end of our shopping excursion (ahead of lunch, even!) and off we went.  My aim when I walked through the door was just to pick up a few spices, a bottle of my favorite dark soy sauce, and some coconut milk… but the lure of the fresh foods was too much, and I and my little herd wandered through the stacks of exotic fruits and vegetables with stars in our eyes.  We did not know whether we could handle something as outrageous looking as this:

– and I’m glad I walked away, after reading this:

Durian (ทุเรียน |tóo rian)

Widely known and revered in southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”, the durian is distinctive for its large size, unique odor, and formidable thorn-covered husk. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale-yellow to red, depending on the species.


Although most fruit is perfect to bring to school to share with your Thai colleagues, it is not a good idea to bring Durian. Some call Durian “Stinky Fruit”. The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust. The odour has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in southeast Asia.


I did grab some





Fresh Mint

And then I began slowly wending my way through the narrow aisles stacked with all manner of mouthwatering and unpronounceable delicacies.  I ended up with much more than I planned, and many items that I will need to research to know how to use.  But that’s what makes life fun – LEARNING!!

Here’s most of my new stash:

I have now looked up Dhanajiru Powder, Kodri, Urad Gota, and Green Chana, so I have some idea how to proceed. 🙂

Closing montage here of our little vegetarian lunch break today, prepared by my lovely Geneva:

Oroblanco slices, Red and Orange Bell Peppers, Green Onions, and Dill Red-skin Potato Salad.

7 thoughts on “The Spice of Life

  1. Pauline Holston

    It was a VERY interesting trip, I must say….but I forewarned her that I might not be “up” for some of those spices!!!!

    1. Annette Heidmann Post author

      True. I will work on developing alternative seasonings that are still interesting but not quite as Flamin’ hot (for those who are more tender of taste-bud)!

    1. Annette Heidmann Post author

      It would have been *quite* a shock, since there was no sign on the fruit display even indicating the name of the fruit – let alone it’s “distinctive” qualities… I guess they just assumed anyone seeing it would know what it was. I’m glad I googled it! Lol!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *