I read the recent news about two young girls being attacked by acid while on the island of Zanzibar off Tanzania and I am really saddened. It's a horrible act of ignorance and hatred, and it scares people. The article I read said the two were in Tanzania volunteering for a nonprofit and were walking in Stone Town on the main island of Zanzibar when acid was thrown on them. I have beautiful memories of strolling with my best friend through the stone roads of Stone Town, an old part of the island and maze of shops with hand-carved wooden doors, open air restaurants, friendly people, and the best fruit salad with rose water and pistachios. Now, people will think of the white sand seafood market strewn with menacing hatred and threatening acts of ignorance.
One of the friendly, wonderful Zanzibaris I met there was a cook who gave evening lessons in cooking with spices. My friend and I made a lovely dish of Zanzibari curry and rice and vegetable soup with the island's mix of cinnamon, cardamon, clove, and ginger. He also showed us his personal mix of chai and spiced coffee.
The trick to the coffee is letting the spices settle into the coffee and waiting....living on island time for a while until the aroma jumps from the jar when you open it. This will take several months, so I found it helpful to hide it in the back of my cabinet. Every couple of months, I happened upon it and enjoyed a cup of strongly brewed coffee with hints of ginger and clove, cinnamon and cardamon. I used a bold, Tanzanian coffee but a lighter coffee would work well too.