I didn’t check in with you yesterday because I ran out of time. I took off a few hours to visit the Kublai Kahn exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kublai Kahn, emperor of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294, welcomed Marco Polo to China. I became fascinated with this part of history when I read a book on Marco Polo by the historian Laurence Bergreen (Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu).
I met the author when I was catering his book publishing party. Some points of interest: It took Marco Polo (father and uncle) three years to travel to China from Venice. That was in the 13th century. Now it would take me from New York City to China only 18 hours. In his estate the items he left to his children were listed in this order: Spices, Material, Gold and Property.
I was happy to see that spices were first in his list. From a cooks point of view he has his priorities in the right order.