“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Spice Country

Beyond the coconut palms in the background is Punnamada Kayal, the venue of the Boat Race. 

      Kerala, steeped in history is also steeped in cliche's. One of the them is the 'Land of spices'. When the rest of India waddled in Middle Age, this little strip of land went international with its spices. The trade between Kerala and Europe, China and other nations of the world began centuries ago and brought foreigners to her shores. The fragrance of Kerala's spices crossed the seas and enticed the traders of the West to this land. Along with commerce came religion and then subjugation by the foreign powers.

Alappuzha, the 'Venice of the East' ( another one!) was one of the oldest trade outlets. To Alappuzha came the spices from the mist-laden mountains and went abroad. Alleppey still retains the remnants of its great past; the planned township, the large godowns, the ramshackle buildings of yore - all look at you and whisper to you its ancient, rich history. As if to remind the passer-by of its old grandeur, the roadside spice vendors display their products; as you pass by, fragrance of the spices waft up and remind one of one's roots, remind one that you belong here, this is your country. 

Garlic, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Pepper, dried Ginger, Turmeric, Clove, Nutmeg and Mace, Star anise, Khus Khus, Garcinia, Cummin seeds, Fennel seeds,  and a few more. How many spices can you recognize and name?  ( Click to enlarge the image) 


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  3. "Spice Country" , yes certainly.

    "Venice of the Orient" (?) I always found this too much of conceit and misplaced.

  4. balanpnb@gmail.com.....

    Spicy post it was :-P

  5. I wonder if you had to explain to that guy what you were up to - taking pictures of his store.

    I could recognize most of them except the red stick kinds all the way in the back and the powder kind in the first row next to 'peruncheeragam'.

  6. very interesting post!

    Your list of spices was a poem to me-

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral

    / )

    > < } } ( ° >

  7. Simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

  8. @NRI: The 'wood shavings' at the rear is cinnamon ( Karuva patta) and the 'white grain' is Khus Khus.

  9. interresting post, greeting from Belgium


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