Tuesday, January 08, 2008

tangerine, who or what? spinnach

Tangerines ,(at least mandarines, satsumas and clementines), are plentiful in the shops, and on a fine morning like yesterday, the sky, just after sunrise, glows with a tangerine colour.

What is that ahead? A tent or a push chair, or something erected by workmen to keep people from falling into a hole. As I get nearer I see that it is a young man sitting on a bench. He has a rucksack on his back, which he as not removed and which forces him to sit forward at a sharp angle. He wears a hooded jacket and the hood is up. The jacket has a pale blue background and is decorated with diamond shapes and dollar signs. He wears blue trainers, which match the jacket.

Spinnach cooked with tomatoes and a delicate and carefully prescribed blend of Indian spices - cummin seeds, chilli powder, corriander powder, guram masala and turmeric - accompany grilled chicken breasts, which have been marinated in olive oil and lemon juice and coated with sesame seeds.

2 comments:

Lucy said...

I was thinking about the word 'orange' recently. It's origins have nothing to do with the royal house, Free State, Ulstermen etc, that was after the town of Orange in France where the dynasty came from originally ( though of course they have taken up the colour, such puns abound in heraldry I think).

It comes from the Dravidian/Sanskrit via Arabic via old Provencal word for the fruit and hence the colour.

But what I was really wondering was, what did people call the colour before they were familiar with the fruit? What did Chaucer call it - coral, gold, marigold, laitoun? None of them perfectly describe it as 'orange' does... perhaps it simply did not exist!

(Just one 'n' in 'spinach')

Plutarch said...

I enjoyed your thoughts on orange. I have always found the colour disappointing because it falls so far short of the fruit itselfwhich it attempts to rdeflect. "He hangs the orange in the trees, like golden lamps in a green night." I think that variations of yellow - lemon, ochre,umber,amber that approach the orange point in the spectrum, and the reds, rose hues, crimsons that follow it when seen side by side and allowed to coelesce without merging are lovlier to behold than the colour which we call orange.