Black-eyed peas and lollipops

I went out to the Pike Place Market for lunch, as I often do. Yesterday I had a bunch of baby carrots, some roasted cashews and a Granny Smith apple. Today I had African food. The beans and rice was lip-smacking good, spicy yet sweet. The yellow peppers were the perfect addition, and the accompanying salad had slivers of pineapple. Best of all, it was an inexpensive yet healthy treat. There was no side order of guilt to go with my lunch.

On the walk back to work I stopped in a Mexican grocery, and got myself a tiny little treat, a watermelon-flavored sweet heavily seasoned with spicy chili. I walked past the Greek place, and near to the French bakery I dare not enter. Seattle is an international marketplace, and the foods of many nations are on the menu. Many cities can make the same boast, as indeed can many towns. I love that about America. I could eat French crepes for breakfast, have Thai for lunch, and Moroccan for dinner. If I was still hungry later, I might snack on sushi with a hot serving of sake.

I love fusion recipes, too, foods that combine disparate cuisines into new creations. I’ve enjoyed Asian-style burritos, teriyaki tofu wrapped up into a flour tortilla. I’ve had excellent Hawaiian sushi, full of hot pepper pineapple and cream cheese, and last week I had a killer Greek pizza loaded with feta cheese and kalamata olives. My parents fed us everything as kids, and so I learned to love most foods.

I actively seek out new flavors, new combinations. I buy things just to explore the world with my taste buds. Tamarind paste was sour but savory, pineapple soda was far too sweet and the lichee nuts should have been left in their can. How would I know if I didn’t try? A package of exotic gum can transport me to Chile, and my local brioche and café au chocolat brings me right back to my time in Montreal. All this talk of food is making me hungry again. Bon appétit, mes amis! 

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

50. Is there a cuisine you haven’t tried that is available locally? Give it a try today. If you’ve tried everything available, go to the local library and find a cookbook that has something new to you, and try making it at home. What did you learn about your likes and dislikes? Where do the flavors bring you?

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