Sunday, February 24, 2013

thinking outside of the alphabet

For years I've been buying spices at whole food stores where they're kept in jars or bins, and you shovel out packets yourself. Usually they're organized alphabetically. Cumin follows cinnamon, etc. Or, since this is Montreal, curcuma follows cannelle. You get the idea. It's how we've been schooled to think. E, f, g, h, i...
I was scanning for spices today and realized that whoever is now organizing the shelves--or was it always like this at La Branche d'Olivier in Verdun and I only clued in today?--the spices and herbs are organized by colour! Basil, tarragon, mint, and thyme make one family; cinnamon, cumin, allspice, ground coriander another. Within the families, lighter shades come before darker. Once I noticed, I spent a long time wandering up and down the aisle.
Here's a picture of a cat sleeping among babouches at the market in Fez--because I can't find the picture I was looking for of heaps of freshly ground, brilliant spices, which were also at the market.

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