17 Mar

This morning, my mission was simple: have a great day and revisit the streets behind Jew Town. Please note; those streets behind Jew Town.

As I arrived, the air was filled with the scent of spices, and I couldn't resist the temptation to visit the spice market again. Although I had been there a week ago, this time, I was eager to learn more about its history and tradition.

Entering the old building, I was struck by the intricate architecture. Thick walls, high ceilings, and creaky stairs gave the place a sense of grandeur and age. Believed to date back to the 16th or 17th century, it was once owned by Portuguese or Dutch traders and reflected the colonial style of the time, with thick walls, large windows, and ornate detailing. The building has been restored and converted into a spice heaven with an array of spices, including ginger, turmeric, cardamom, and cloves. What intrigued me most was the traditional method used to dry ginger, which takes several days and involves laying it out in the sun and turning it regularly to ensure even drying. This is critical for preserving the flavor and aroma of the ginger, which is sorted and packaged for sale in the market. 

Inside the little co-op spice shop, the variety of spices on display was impressive. From deep red paprika to earthy brown cinnamon, it was a treasure trove of flavors that I couldn't get enough of. As I left the spice market, my clothes were infused with the scents of ginger, cinnamon, and cumin, and my mouth tingled from the heat of fresh black peppercorns. I felt as though I had experienced a piece of history, a glimpse into the traditions and culture of the region. 

This venue - The Old Spice market in Jew Town, Fort Kochi, is a jewel. A real, not touristy, a unique and fascinating experience, for anyone interested in the history and culture of India. The old building, the vibrant street market, and the traditional methods used to prepare the spices all combine to create an enthralling and educational experience. I loved it, and the sweet, free coffee I was offered by the Pepper grinder operator was the best since I arrived in Kochi!   

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