Field Trip, Part I


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            Today I went to the coastal town of Nabeul with about 40 of my friends.  OK, they were all 11 years old, but they were good company and we had a fabulous day.  We are on the spice trail.  It began with the surprising reality that the early European explorers to the New World were partially in search of spices, in fact would kill and plunder for them.  We continued with a look at the modern day producers and economies of some of our most common spices:  pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, and dear to our Moroccan hearts, saffron.  Now, we’re looking at the spice production in our own back yard, right in Tunisia.  Today, we visited a botanical garden in Nabeul, featuring herbs, fruit trees, and cacti all having use as food or medicine.  We have a follow up surprise that will take place a week from tomorrow.
            But Nabeul is primarily known for its handmade pottery and so we also witnessed an exhibition at a factory where they are creating charming sets of pottery that are high temperature fired so you can bake in them and are also lead free.  It was here that I bought my first tagine.
            We ended the day at the Hammamet Fort, a stunningly renovated structure, right on the sparkling waterfront, with shops and open space to enjoy the massive structure, softened with pines.  

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