Spice Odyssey - Singapore Food Festival opening

Last night, I attended Spice Odyssey, the opening event of the Singapore Food Festival organised by at-sunrice, the culinary institute. The event involved traipsing around Fort Canning Park learning about the different uses of spices in cultures and history at various stations, each manned by Johnson & Wales (at least, I think they were all from Johnson & Wales) students here on some sort of exchange programme. Lots of fun. There were stations on how expensive spices were in the past, an introduction to making your own 5-spice powder (fun with mortars and pestles), using spices for cosmetics and so on, and each station was all accompanied by some little tapas/amuse bouche-style things to try. Mmm.

Unfortunately, at the station on "spices as intoxicants", I ended up chewing on entirely too much betel nut methinks. This being my first attempt at the thing, I'm not quite sure I got why people are so crazy about betel nut (besides the fact that in Taiwan betel nut gets sold by women in less than full attire). Sure, my aching wisdom tooth was numbed, which was nice, but there was a sharp pain on my tongue/gum area that didn't clear till this morning. Moderation, I suppose, is a virtue.


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