Pomegranates and Pepper

It's pomegranate season. I like to eat the ... what are they called? the juicy seed coverings ... with a spoon, but Ramesh loves dark purply-red pomegranate juice, dry and faintly sweet, seasoned with black pepper.

When I was a child, my mother gave me toast sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. When I grew up I exchanged the cinnamon for cardamom. When I entered this house, I learned about toast with sugar and freshly-ground black pepper, and I think that's the best of all.

Vendors stand by the roadside in Calcutta with their wares spread on a tray resting on a woven stand -- in this case, loaves of white bread; a brick of butter; sugar, and pepper. People on the way to the office stop and buy, keep their briefcases safely gripped between their legs, and eat bread and butter.

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