Centenary World Cruise Day 40: Penang

Nope. I spent today in bed, asleep, while the Pirate toured the spice garden and the butterfly sanctuary. But he did come back and tell me some highlights:

  • Turmeric, ginger, and cardamom are all rhizomes. There are over 200 species of ginger, all of which are edible, and all are native to southeast Asia.
  • Nutmeg and mace are the same(ish) thing. The nutmeg is the seed, and mace is the fruit that surrounds the seed.
  • Green, pink, white, and black pepper all come from the same plant, but the difference is how they’re treated.
  • You can tell whether you got real cinnamon or fake cinnamon (cassia). Cassia is thicker and the bark is in a single, curly layer. Real cinnamon will have more than one piece of bark rolled together because they’re thin and brittle. But you shouldn’t use powdered cinnamon because it blocks your chi.
  • In Malaysia, they wait for the durian to drop from the tree, because that’s when it’s ripe. If you see people cutting them off the trees, they’re harvesting unripe durian. Only people from Thailand do that, and people in Malaysia don’t have a high opinion of them.

He also saw about a skillion cool butterflies. Sadly, it’s almost impossible to capture a really good photo of a butterfly with a phone while on a walking tour with a bunch of other tourists.

This butterfly is laying eggs – the little nodules on the netting.