Published Oct 31, 2006

I have no idea exactly how to describe this, but I seem to be craving tannins lately. OK, I take that back, I know exactly how to describe it: I’ve been craving tannings lately; I’m more confused as to what the heck is going on. Who needs bitter flavors with an astringent feel on the tongue? But I can’t stop drinking tea and cheap, young red wine.

It’s a cost-effective jones, as these things go — tea’s mostly hot water anyway — but sometimes that $6 bottle of wine does go wrong. I got tannins aplenty with a cheap bottle of some grape I’d never even heard of last week — the wine could best have been described as “aggressive,” and wasn’t entirely undrinkable, just too strong to taste what I was trying to eat. The new bottle of wine that my neighbor left here, half-empty, is going down well enough tonight, though.

There have been other cravings before, weird ones. When I got back from Southeast Asia I wanted everything fermented — a craving well-enough handled with some store-bought nam pla and powdered dried shrimp. Granted, you could smell my cooking a block away, but it made people happy. There was also a tamarind phase, but, let’s face it, you can get tamarind soda all over this town.

Perhaps I should try a more normal craving, like chocolate or pickles. Chocolate, at least, would be popular, and there’s quite the variety of gourmet and even milk-free options for me to choose from. Pickles are a more typical jones, and actually one I had a few years ago; then it was for the sweet chips that we Baltimorons tend to eat like potato chips. Can’t get good enough ones of those out here.

What crazy, irresistible food urge is next? Crab chips? Butter? Sausage? Hufu? The mind boggles.