DURING A RECENT purge of the deepest, coldest corners of my freezer, I made a pair of discoveries worthy of Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen. The primary: a baggie containing both a Jurassic sausage or a banana escaped from smoothiedom, which I respectfully returned to its frosty house for future generations to ponder.
The opposite was a portal to Denver: two baggage of roasted inexperienced chiles, which I introduced house from the Mile Excessive Metropolis final fall. I defrosted one and the subsequent night time made a chile verde. Because it simmered, the smoky odor of Hatch peppers transported me again to the roadside stand the place I purchased them. With the Rockies glinting within the distance, a cowboy-hatted man roasted the peppers in a steel drum he slowly turned over roaring fuel burners till they blackened and blistered.
The marine scents of the salt introduced me again to a summer time night within the Gulf Islands, looking ahead to breaching orcas.
The housebound weeks wore on. I discovered in cabinets and cupboards the stays of different comestible souvenirs. As anyone is aware of who’s introduced house pickled greens from Japan, jars of artichokes from Italy or saffron from Morocco, their important downside in contrast with say, a rug, is that they’ll solely be loved a finite variety of occasions. In efforts to stretch my tether to journeys previous, the journey treats I discovered had been usually in comically minuscule portions.
One night time, I fished a virtually empty pouch of Salt Spring Sea Salt’s blackberry fleur de sel from the again nook of my spice drawer. I had met its makers Philippe Marill and Carolyn Kvajic whereas on a kayaking journey to British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands just a few years in the past. After I pinched out just a few purple flakes to sprinkle over a roasted pork loin, the tart berry and marine scents of the salt introduced me again to a cool summer time night on their entrance garden, looking ahead to breaching orcas within the waters of Trincomali Channel.
Within the spirit of self-medicating, I cracked into one in all my favourite keepsakes, a bottle of Ramos Pinto Vinho Quinado, a ruby Port wine infused with herbs and quinine, an antimalarial derived from tree bark. I had picked it up throughout a memorable afternoon in Lisbon with André Magalhães, the chef of the town’s beloved Taberna da Rua das Flores.
We had began at Casa Cid, a small canteen which has been serving staff of the adjoining Mercado da Ribeira since 1911. There we devoured a lunch of fried caul fats, slithery pork skins in escabeche and a poached, salted blue mackerel served with potatoes, kale and black-eyed peas—“actual delicacies du marché,” he mentioned. After consuming, we wandered the market, stopping in a store catering to African expats. Bins and cabinets overflowed with pungent dried fish, sacks of flour, bottles of palm oil, and sundries from São Tomé and Príncipe, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Angola. After I requested for a bottle of the Vinho Quinado, the clerk provided an unmistakable pantomime of the drink’s alleged potential for male fortification.
Sipping it at house, I discovered the wine simpler at lifting my morale. For a second, every of those souvenirs served as a trip by proxy. Ending them now seems like an act of religion, in a promise that some day I’ll have the ability to journey once more and replenish my shops.
MORSELS BY MAIL
Quick on appetizing souvenirs your self? Listed here are just a few gadgets to order from far afield
Handpicked within the Excessive Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Villa Jerada’s model of the world’s most costly spice provides an ineffable fragrance to each candy and savory dishes. $11 for 1 gram from villajerada.com
The pristine seas round Salt Spring Island are the supply materials for this flaky ending salt, made with the pyramid-shaped crystals that type on the water’s floor throughout the evaporative course of. Flavored variations vary from regionally brewed dry porter to chocolate and vanilla, preferrred for topping cookies or cheesecake. From about $8.45, saltspringseasalt.com
Although Ramos Pinto Vinho Quinado just isn’t imported to the U.S., you possibly can order it instantly from Portugal by way of Manuel Tavares, a wine and gourmand store that’s been in enterprise since 1860. Since transport is pricey, take the chance to bundle in different seldom-seen spirits like Licor de Bolota, a candy acorn liqueur. About $9, manueltavares.com
Autumn on Colorado’s Entrance Vary is marked for a lot of by the odor of roasting inexperienced chiles: Hatch peppers trucked up from New Mexico; Pueblos grown nearer to house; or numerous different varieties various in measurement and warmth. A freezer filled with roasted chiles is the key to enhancing all the pieces from stews to summer time salsas. From $5, lulusfarmstore.com