Vol V Pick-me-up

 

 I have a great fondness for chilli. Despite my Malayali roots, I don’t favour the black pepper as much as the chilli.  The most boring of meals for me acquire an edge, an elan when I bring to the table a green chilli. That first bite  is  like nothing ever; a hint of green riding up the nostrils and filling the mouth. With the second bite the heat as it sears and burns and brings tears to your eyes overriding all other thought and making you want more of everything – food, life, that euphoria….

Simply because I am more a reader of fiction rather than non-fiction, each book of non-fiction, I read or buy is carefully chosen. Several years ago, I chanced upon Peppers by Amal Naj at a bookstore that was closing down and getting rid of its stocks. Never was there a more unsung book than this one…

In this evocative book, Wall Street Journal columnist Naj pursues his subject from Bolivia to New Mexico, interviewing growers, botanists, chefs, and doctors, even chronicling a long and acrimonious lawsuit that has raged around the use of the term “Tabasco.”

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