~~Portland Cross-Pollination Project!~~

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May 10, 2007


Back at home, we try hard to eat locally, but spices are one of the few remaining items that we buy from across the world. And here I am on “Spice Island”—so I went on a spice tour to see how these things are grown. Of course, they didn’t really answer my questions about the use of chemicals or the lifestyle of the workers, but it was good to learn a bit more about how and where my favorite tastes are created.

So here is your tour:



“Lipstick fruit” – natural dye. (thanks to the goofy American for the pose)

Pepper – black, white, green and red, all from the same plant. This is me, proving that indeed, a bite of this vine is quite strongly peppery!

Very special: cardamom!! This plant is an orchid, with flowers crawling out over the ground… very cool. Yum.

Super yum: fresh cinnamon bark!!!

Also very special: CLOVES! Here is the tree and a close up of the fruit. I wish I could share this delicious smell with you!!

Another special spice: nutmeg. Isn’t the outside of the nut so pretty?

One of the best smells in the world – ylangi ylangi flower. I couldn’t stop smelling it. It’s used for perfumes and bath gels, but nothing is like the scent of the flower itself.

And last but not least, vanilla… a very difficult to grow orchid. Each flower is hand pollinated… and it’s expensive to buy even here where it’s grown.

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