Ben's got a friend from a Brazilian family. They were cooking the other day when we dropped him back, and gave me what I would have taken for a chip (French or freedom fry) to sample.
"It's manioc," I was told.
It turns out that manioc is the same thing as cassava, and I remember cassava from the dismissive references made to it in Blood River.
I noticed what I took to be cassava outside the Sri Lankan shop at the bottom of the road, and took it in to ask the proprietor if I was right. He explained that I was, then took out a knife to show me how to peel it, stressing that I should make sure to discard the dry, hard sections at the end.
I took it home, sliced, parboiled and deep fried it, the served it up with some jerk chicken as a tribute to Jamaican Bammy which is deep-fried cassava flatbread.
Hardly "to see the world in a grain of sand," I'll grant you, but still a good example of the rewards of following your eyes, ears, nose and taste buds. A lot of the time the richness of your experience is as much down to your attitude as your environment.