Walk into any Jerk shop in Crown Heights and you'll be overwhelmed with savory scents. Now, you might have opened that door planning to purchase the namesake dish, but let me point your nose in another direction. See that sultry, bubbling, brown tray? That's stew chicken, and I think you should give it a try. Brewed from the devilish flavors that make the Caribbean so intoxicating (lime, allspice, sugar), it is the sort of thing you never knew you needed in the depths of winter.
It is now the time of year most firmly associated with dark spices. You know those of which I speak, the oily powders we keep hidden away through the summer only to find perpetually at our side as the days grow shorter. Cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, and allspice; these are the spices that keep our hearts smoldering like coals through wind and snow.