Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drug Peppers

While at the farmer's market one day, I picked up a bag of what appeared to be peppercorns. When I looked more closely, however, it appeared to be nothing but peppercorn husks, if it was pepper at all. The bag of something remained untouched in Jon and my cabinet until one day one of friends came over and, after glimpsing the bag, expressed glee, to which we replied with confusion. It turns out the things are actually a kind of Bhutanese drug - you chew them, and they numb your mouth like novacaine. Your mouth and lips get all tingly for a bit, and if you chew too much they apparently can cause your throat to swell up and you aspirate to death.

So, sounds like lots of fun, right?

So, completely unimpressed with Bhutanese methods of getting your buzz on and quite happy with cheap and delicious Bhutanese whiskey and port, we again abandoned the bag in our cabinet, untouched. Then, while haphazardly googling around, I discovered this wikipedia page: Turns out the things are actually a spice used in traditional Himalayan and Chinese cuisine, and seeing as Jon and I have had our fair share of momos and the accompanying sauce since we've arrived, we've probably consumed our fair share of the things anyway. I am really excited - our cuisine consists almost entirely of ema datshi, curries, and french fries, and any new addition is very welcome. I think I am going to buy a chicken and make fried sichuan pepper chicken as soon as possible...

No comments:

Post a Comment