Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Commonplace book: fierce colors

“White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. ” ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night." ― Rainer Maria Rilke

I am finishing up a piece on colors, and ran across these two quotes.  The fierceness and glory of white is evident to me these days, with everything covered in glittery snow and fiercely cold.  The Rilke makes me think of the humid heat of Singapore's botanical gardens, in the night. Orchids were recklessly blooming, and fiercely colored.

Along the way to writing this piece I learned much.  Guanine can be used as a colorant (but it's not a dye), and castoreum (extracted from the place where a beaver sits) enhances flavors, particularly my favorite, raspberry, but also vanillas.  The FDA classifies it as GRAS (generally regarded as safe).  I am not joking.  Given the travails of acquiring it, no one actually uses it commercially.  But you could.

Shades of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans....

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