Pipe tobacco, dark chocolate, espresso and the ‘Lyric Pieces’ from Edvard Grieg

Just as I had been taking notes; searching in my memory for possible conceptual connections; considering all the things we might understand under the term ‘taste’; and aiming at stretching the experience of the palate towards a multi-censorial bath, a first occurred, as I was given a pouch containing pipe tobacco, but without a name for what the mixture was.

At one of my favourite tobacco shops (with some of the finest, most knowledgeable and professional personnel) the tobacconist Christopher McGrath, sales associate at Nat Sherman, handed me a note.

Smoke with dark chocolate + espresso… Grieg Lyric Pieces

That was written on a plastic pouch, filled with an undisclosed mixture of pipe tobacco. It is also the first time that I am asked to cover such varied array of experiences combined. But this was much more than an interesting suggestion from a knowledgeable tobacconist, musician and guitarist friend. This was a perfectly timed gesture, coinciding and perfectly supporting my period of investigation in the realm of perception beyond what we taste with the palate,

I am currently connecting the pieces that should become the fundamental structure, politic and philosophy for the New York Palate League. In that very moment I received such wonderful gift.

Firstly I had been listening, getting familiarized with some of the sixty-six lyric pieces for piano that Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907) composed over a period of thirty-four years, before embarking in the first phase of the experiment. Then I had to find certain situations to exercise this feat. Amongst friends, in a crowded lounge, in between appointments and work – all impossible.

A couple of days ago the situation was there.

Interestingly enough, just days before I ‘found’ the time and space, I met Bill – the young man that smokes his cigar at best, when nothing is there to distract him from the smoke and the whole activity taking total control of his person. It seems as though I am very much on the right path and not alone.

But, which tobacco mixture was that, anyway?

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