Pepper or Peppercorn

Pepper or Peppercorn
Ouidah Benin
Monday, September 11, 2006

Yesterday was a pepper day; I purchased some peppercorns in the small neighborhood corner market. An open-air market on the corner, not a store. The girl maybe 15, with her mother, not responding, probably does not speak French, she probably speaks Mina was tough. No shyness about the girl, more or less,
- What do you want? -

I sometime wish to explain,
- I am from a very different place, where the foods are different, the shopping is different, and unless I inspect the items very carefully, I often have no idea what you are selling. -

I was looking for Garlic Cloves, when I stumbled upon the peppercorns, a very hard, impossible to smash, round little ball of pepper I put many foods. This is not supplied in restaurants I have entered, this is often true. In Brazil, a popular place to send Slaves from this area, I needed to purchase a quarter kilo and carry with me to be able to use pepper.

Some five stars, never left the resort person will disagree with me, hehehe, but I go to normal…

Ok, I took back to my hotel, tried many methods to smash them, it did not work. I went down to eat my French Fries, ask the girl Nicole if they had the smashed pepper, more or less in sign language. I finished the French Fries, it took and hour to cook them, and I was up in the room reading my book waiting. When I was finished eating, she brings out a very small smashed portion, about what I could have made in the room. They must not have the stone or equipment in the restaurant.

Actually, this was in a way me maneuvering to see what spices they use, they do not have powder pepper in the restaurant, now I am positive. My French makes me insecure.

They do have this I think they call Vinaigrette mustard like sauce; I need to explore more though.

I go to the one small, more knowledgeable than most good convenient shop I found. Inside they were in the process of meshing or trens, or braiding the hair of the owner woman. I was lucky, I had an example of the powder I needed.

Then things got funny, as a man started trying to explain, in English what I wanted. They understood, and then the one says,
- You do not speak English good. -

I laughed,
- I speak English very good, you have never heard a person speak English good. -

The man spoke Nigerian English, they have many Nigerians here and they learn how they speak English, adapt and understand. It is like the India English a terrible example of English, however they believe they speak very good, their vocabulary may be immense. And they do, if they wish to speak English in India, and this Nigerian speak very good English if he is speaking to a Nigerian person.

The knowledgeable store, offered to grind it with a stone, came back later with about a half a cup of finely ground pepper. I now be packing and carrying.

A Peace Corp boy was leaving; he pulls out his steak sauce, to show he was carrying. I often think, and want to carry Horseradish so I can eat a Shrimp Cocktail in the manner of my custom.

Well, next time I am in a Lebanese store, I will buy some powdered pepper, I could have purchased in Lome, Togo, just did not think the price was good. They grown the stuff here, but the cost is high, reminds me the price of coffee in Costa Rica.

I am busy making my Travelers Nest; I am collecting the many items all in my pack that makes my world routine. I like to eat what I like to eat, only one to two times per week, yet to do this, I must go to a restaurant and pay five time the cost and have a chicken dinner. Now, I can put some salt and pepper on the chicken, because I have some spices.

The world came to this area to purchase peppercorns or pepper, the world went to the new world trying to figure out how to get pepper from India. I never know why, it must be to preserve food, and add some taste to some horrible dried foods, preserved by extracting ever drop of water out of them before the invention of refrigeration.

I sometime think they purchased herbs, spiced or something to make smelly sauces they could put on their bodies because they smell so bad. I for sure think people stink in countries where they do not shower; they shower in Africa, not a big on smell place.


Pepper or Peppercorn

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