Fragrances & Flavors of Our Lives
Flavors shape cultural identity
and turn the tides of history.
The Roman Empire, in its day,
issued salt as part of army pay.
Explorers in antiquity learned to subsist
on salted meat and salted fish.
Gandhi led a peaceful march to the sea
to evaporate seawater and set India free.
The Silk Road brought spices to Europe.
Christopher Columbus sailed in the hope
of finding a safer route to “The Indies”
to trade for pepper and other delicacies.
He was funded by Queen Isabella of Spain,
who did not sell her jewels in vain.
In the “New World,” where Columbus landed,
grew tobacco and cocoa, soon in demand.
Tobacco, wine, peyote… ceremonial provisions
used to negotiate peace and summon visions.
Coca leaves chewed for energy,
opium dreams to enhance creativity…
addictions to subjugate humanity.
Medicines to relieve pain and to restore health…
violence, illegal trade, and ill-gotten wealth.
Nature’s gifts come from Mother Earth.
How they are used determines their worth.
“Let food be thy medicine!” declared Hippocrates.
Since ancient times, food has fought disease.
Ginger and turmeric season our food,
ease pain and dyspepsia and thin blood.
Garlic, a worldwide perennial favorite,
has a multitude of health benefits.
Chilli peppers soothe pain and add heat to curries,
savory stir fries, and Texas chilli.
Sassafras is a tonic that flavors root beer, teas,
and file gumbo, pride of New Orleans.
Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and cardamon,
cozy flavors that remind us of home.
Home-cooked sweet memories,
a flavorful shield against disease:
Cilantro, rosemary, mint, and dill,
tarragon, oregano, and fennel,
basil, anise, lemon grass, and more…
These are a few of the herbs we adore.
Herbs and flowers smell enticingly sweet
and exquisitely flavor the foods we eat.
It is said that Cleopatra, legendary beauty,
favored fragrances made from patchouli.
Rose and jasmine fragrances, jasmine tea.
Orange blossom perfume, orange blossom honey.
Candied violets decorate fancy cakes.
Natstutiums in salad impart spicy taste.
Scents and flavors bring to mind
life experiences of every kind…
The people we’ve known, the places we’ve been,
culinary travels to lands unseen.
Condiments and their role in history.
Glimpses into the mysteries.
Teasing the palate, inspiring creativity…
All thanks to Mother Nature’s generosity.
Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia
To my fellow bloggers,
I continue fighting very slow, unresponsive emails even after updating my computer with Apple, and still need to check out the problem with our internet provider as well as WordPress. Our TV reception, on the same system, is also having problems. I am reading a few emails when I can between doctor and dentist appointments. Also, I am now the designated driver for both of us. I look forward to being back full-time on WordPress soon after Robert’s cataract surgery is completed in September. I hope life is treating you well.
All the best! ❤ Cheryl