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An enthusiastic gardener and foodie, my coworker E is well-versed in a wide variety of herbs and spices and has a knack for finding wonderful flavors. Last week, she introduced me to sorrel, and brought me a lovely bunch of big sorrel leaves from her garden. Upon tasting the lemony, tart flavor, I flipped out; it was so delicious! Then I used it in a tasty slaw. I was so happy that I had blindly purchased a sorrel plant for my garden on recommendation from the nice lady at the co-op! I am quite excited for the sorrel to grow larger.
Later in the week E outdid herself. She was bringing in a couple of epazote plants for another coworker, and made sure to point them out to me. I was so intrigued; I'd seen dried and fresh epazote at some of the Mexican grocery stores in my neighborhood, but never really bothered to investigate it. She told me to smell it. I saw a twinkle in her eye, so I knew I was in for a surprise. I excitedly rubbed the spiky, dark green leaves between my fingertips, then brought my fingers to my nose for a whiff.
Oh my! It smelled so unusual; pungent, peppery, and spicy. It was almost reminiscent of kerosene or turpentine (in the best way possible, I swear), with a strange, minty twist. I'd never smelled anything like it, and I was positively entranced by it. Especially after E started talking to me about using epazote when cooking beans.