Donatella: A smart story, even though it’s a salad.
                    I particularly love the Portuguese
                    laurel with its dark-red perfumed
                    flowers. I’ve tasted them only once before.

Laurence: I spotted some on my way here. In the garden
                    next to the Birds’ Fountain.
                    This is a very vinaigretty cocktail.

Gina:          I lived on the border of the Basilica
                    and ate bitter gooseberries near the mouth
                    of the river. I’m an escargot
                    fan from way back.

Laurence: You wouldn’t expect escargot and corn
                    to harmonize so well. I secretly drink
                    skim milk and dream of a British country
                    home. I’ve always wanted someone
                    to call me The Master.

Donatella: The Brussels sprouts add just the right amount
                    of bitterness. They have a bite and piquancy
                    entirely their own. Any more would have been
                    too much. Pass the gnocchi, please.

Laurence: I took the train here from Valencia, past
                    the grazing lambs. Past the orange
                    groves. I’m not usually a gnocchi guy.

Gina:          The lambs eat from the fallen fronds
                    in the Queen’s Fern Valley. The trees grow
                    twelve meters and naturally regenerate.
                    I don’t understand it but I love it.

Donatella: In Japan, I chased a lover around a milk-bush.
                    We squeezed the leaves between our fingers,
                    which expels a poison. In small amounts
                    it is delicious. Such a tender lamb.

Liora Mondlak is The Inquisitive Eater's Poet of the Month for December 2017.

Liora Mondlak remembers accompanying her mother to the market in Mexico City, where she grew up. She remembers the chickens hanging by their feet, and the sawdust around her saddle shoes. Years later, she would return to the market to buy ground chameleon, a well-known love potion, which she uses sparingly.

She lives in New York with her teenage daughter, where she teaches art and poetry.

Photo via Pixabay.

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