I walked through the market of the village, frowning. Smiling faces regarded me cautiously and they did their best to hawk their wares, but I wasn’t having any of it, right now. Nothing looked wrong with the food. The potatoes, carrots, turnips, mutton, chicken, beef, and more looked and smelled perfect. They were better than anything I had ever tried at an upstate farmer’s market, much less the local Korean grocery in Brooklyn. The Realms were like that.
But none of the foods appeased the craving on my tongue. I searched in vain for bell peppers and other chilis, peanuts, and coconuts. Last night I woke up to a serious Thai food withdrawal, particularly a nice curry. Pad Thai would have also sufficed, but I had a better chance of getting a curry. Noodles were pretty much an impossibility.
I continued wandering the food stalls, even coming to the exotic spice merchant. I bought some black pepper and anything else he described as being hot, but I had my doubts. And while pepper might up the heat, there was no way to replicate the fruitiness of the bell peppers and jalapenos.
I went to the tavern and indulged in a shepherd’s pie, which was good, but as bland as paste. I wanted pepper, spice, and exotic aromas crashing into my nose and throat in a symphony of flavor. I wanted panang curry, and yellow curry, and red curry, and mussaman, and Pad Thai.
I had another spoonful of beef, potato, and carrot in a consistency too similar to baby food.