Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dreaming of warm places with spicy food

Spices in the Machane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem, 2006.
Cold, cold winter here: frequent snow storms, grey skies with rare glimpses of blue. Thursday's temperatures exceptionally went into the fifties, but Friday will be back well below freezing with a low of 9º F.

I'm dreaming of warmer places and of the spices from exotic cuisines in faraway places. At right is a random selection of images of spicy food that I've enjoyed on past journeys.

And here are my dreams of places I've been and new ones where I want to go:
Herbs in the Machane Yehuda Market

I dream of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean.  Friday in Rabat, Morocco, it's forecast to be 64º -- I dream of eating a special Moroccan tagine with the hot red sauce called harissa. I've never been there, but I can dream!

In Jerusalem, Friday's temperature is 60º and if I were there, I could eat falafel with the Yemenite sauce called zhoug made from cilantro, parsley, cumin, coriander, hot hot pepper, and olive oil. I love to think of Israeli markets full of amazing spices and herbs as well as many exotic foods all ready to eat.
Provence: spices in the market at Arles, 2016.

In Nice, France, it is forecast to be 60º. I dream of fish stew with the sauce called rouille made of olive oil with breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper. I remember Provencal open-air markets full aromatic spices.

Closer to home, I dream of New Orleans where it's 70º. Imagine a plate of newly-opened oysters with lemon juice, horseradish, and a handy bottle of Tabasco sauce  -- on Avery Island near NOLA, the McIlhenny family has made Tabasco Sauce since 1868.

I dream of San Diego where high temperatures this week will be 68º and I could go to a nice taco stand and enjoy a burrito with some hot salsa in sight of the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

San Diego, California: Roberto's Burritos in 2009.
Near LA (Friday expected high 71º) they make sriracha which started as an ethnic Asian condiment and is now everywhere. And I could also enjoy the beach.

The vast Pacific offers many exotic islands to dream about. I'd love to travel to Fiji, Easter Island, New Zealand, New Guinea and more. I also love Hawaii where temperatures are in the seventies, as they are almost all winter. I dream of several favorite restaurants in and near Kona like Island Lava Java where I often have ordered fish tacos or Salade Niçoise -- Hawaii is home to Pacific Rim cuisine which includes almost every warm-weather cuisine in the world!
Saint Lucia in the Caribbean: a spicy lunch some years ago.

The Caribbean includes Cuba where the temperature is in the eighties and though I've never been there, I'd like to try the famous spicy black beans and more, as well as see the fascinating island with its famous old cars.

On a trip to Saint Lucia we tried the local curry chicken roti, a dish influenced by East Indian people who came to various British colonies in the Caribbean. At the resort where we stayed, we also enjoyed lots of interesting fish dishes. It's 83º there and that would feel good. So would snorkeling!

Florida Keys: The Fish House, 2017. Their "Matacumbe" preparation
with tomatoes and onions is very delicious!
In Key Largo, Florida it's 81º and I dream of the spicy fish at the Fish House there: not to mention key lime pie! Also driving the beautiful long road across many causeways, eventually arriving in Key West.

I dream of many other exotic locations, where the food is spicy and the weather is pleasantly hot. It's 103º in Buenos Aires and 90º in Rio -- maybe too hot, though I'd love to see them! It's only 81º in San Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, where I'd love to taste the foods made famous in the books of Jorge Amado -- especially the spicy dish called Feijoada. Enough dreaming!

Finally: this is loco moco, a Hawaiian special plate lunch including hamburger, rice, gravy, and a fried egg.
It's total fusion food including flavors from several of the immigrant groups that make up the Hawaiian melting pot.


Kari said...

I am sure there are a few people dreaming of heat like you! What a great virtual tour.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I have always thought there should be mandatory rotation of being able to live in places with great weather. Of course, as you can tell, that means I do not live in one of those places, and would probably be opposed if I did! And the exotic foods are as enticing as the climate!

Beth F said...

I could use some heat -- both in the air and on my plate.

Tina said...

This post most certainly made me hungry and get the wanderlust bug activated. You mentioned a few places I’d love to visit. I actually saw Morocco from a distance, lol. When I was traveling in Spain back in the 70’s we were near the coast and it was clear as a bell. You could see it, but we never managed to make plans to go.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

This is such a creative, interesting post, it's putting me in mind of all the warm places I have traveled.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

This is a delightful post dreaming of the wonderful foods in warm climates. I'm in a warm climate and enjoying many ethnic restaurants. I've been to Israel many times where I've enjoyed their incredible falafel and delicious spices.

Claudia said...

It's 67F here at 7:30 am and expected to go to 79 today. A bit chilly for Hawaii :) Still good to consider the foods of other places, one of the best things about travel.

Carole said...

It's high summer here - but at least it's not quite as hot as Australia who are really sweltering. Cheers from Carole from Carole's Chatter