Friday, August 24, 2007

Spice Boy

As a keen lover of rice and curry and a ardent fan of food in general I think I'm well placed to talk about food, particularly of the eastern variety. Like any good Sri Lankan boy I struggle with food that is just way too bland, although I can appreciate the finer points of the blandest Walls sausage too.

I can savour the gastranomic delights of a pot noodle and devour every single grain of rice in a lamprais with equal passion. Well not quite equal but I can enjoy both, although I'd much rather eat a lamprais than a pot noodle any day.

And in all my years' of research into eating rice and curry there is one thing that mystifies me, there is one question I have to ask, one unsolved mystery; the cardamon.

What the hell is it about these little opal shaped pieces of pungent putridity? I can understand most spices and most flavourings but these things are surely superfluous aren't they? They don't add anything to a dish, they just taste like crap, or worse. One journey anywhere near my taste buds and a cardamon can ruin a whole dish for me, it really can put me off the rest of a meal.

Is it just me or do other people have the same feelings for other spices? Or do some people like the taste of cardamons? I guess there must be some strange people out there who do.


Jack Point said...

They add aroma and (i think some flavour) to the rice.

Tastes bad if you actually munch on it (but the same is also true of cinnamon and cloves-try it and see) but in the process of the cooking the add a lot.

Mia said...

Cardamoms are an aromatic and is used to make the food fragrant. Any meticulous host/hostess (like moi) will pick and discard them before serving. It is not meant for consumption.

Outer husk is indigestible, you eat (if you want) the black seeds inside. I am one those strange people you mentioned, I don’t mind chewing the black seeds on occasions. Uncooked ones are better in taste (quite pungent) and a good breath freshener as well. You don’t eat a handful, only a couple of seeds from a pod.

To tell you a custom in the villages of SL in case you didn’t know (I don’t know if still practiced) –They welcome guests at weddings, by offering cardamoms individually wrapped in multi coloured tissue paper. I don’t know the purpose or significance, if any, for this custom.

L said...

I do like plain rice cooked with cardamom. The curries also have to be more subtle. More Sinhalese village style.

Beatrice Hannah said...

Cardamom is lovely, some folks I know pop one or two in their mulled wine of a winter evening.

confab said...

they do add some flavour but i'm not their biggest fan. i'd much rather have katie holmes adding flavour to my rice.