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May 17, 2024 33 mins

This bright-hot stew can come out a number of ways thanks to the many culinary influences that have gone into it. Anney and Lauren marinate on the history and cultures behind vindaloo.

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Speaker 1 (00:09):
Hello, and welcome to Savor Protection of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:11):
I'm Annie Reese and I'm more in vogel Baum and
today we have an episode for you about vindaloo.

Speaker 1 (00:18):
I love too. The cravings are so intense.

Speaker 2 (00:25):
Yes, this might be the quickest I have ever crumbled
to a craving. I definitely ordered this last night for
dinner while I was reading all about it, because I
was like, well, here we are.

Speaker 1 (00:39):
Yeah, yes, I desperately want some. I've been I've been
holding off because I have other food, but it is
in the back of my head.

Speaker 2 (00:50):
The next time, the next time that you have a window.

Speaker 1 (00:54):
Absolutely absolutely. My little brother I've talked about this before.
He's Indian food and when we hang out, that's what
we normally get. But also reading through this research, I
was like, trying to make sure I've had the version
that we're talking about, the more kind of Indian typical
version versus the more UK typical version. And I believe so.

I believe so, but this is why I need to
try it again to confer. Yes.

Speaker 2 (01:24):
Absolutely, yeah, I've definitely had both versions. I think the
version that I was introduced to was and perhaps actually
Bangladeshi restaurants around Atlanta was the spicier kind, But since
then I've found a couple of places that make what

I now believe to be closer to.

Speaker 1 (01:48):
Yeah. Yes, well I would love to hear from listeners
about this. Maybe I'll get a like sampling and do
a little yes, okay, yeah, yeah sounds I'm delicious. I
am in, I am in.

Speaker 2 (02:07):
This is one of my favorite comfort foods.

Speaker 1 (02:10):
Yeah. Yes, Was there any reason it was on your mind? Uh?

Speaker 2 (02:16):
I guess not really, I was. I was looking for
a dish, you know, kind of from the vague Indian
subcontinent area, and was just like like like reading the
names of dishes and was like, I want vindaloo right now,
and then yeah, here we.

Speaker 1 (02:35):
Are, here, we are. Well, there are past episodes that
you can seek out that are related to.

Speaker 2 (02:47):
This, various episodes about different spices. I guess other meat
dishes would kind of count, especially ones that have had
colonial influence. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (03:02):
Yeah, well, I suppose that brings us to our question. Sure, vendaloo?
What is it?

Speaker 2 (03:14):
Well, vindaloo is a type of stew that can be
many things, but typically involves cooking down some kind of
protein or a toothsome vegetable, perhaps in a sauce made
with tangy vinegar and pike and alions and pungent dried
chilies and lots of warming spices and maybe something tartan
fruity like tamarind or tomato, and maybe some some fresh

hot chilies for kick. The resulting stew liquid will be
spicy and sharp and will infuse and tenderize whatever ingredients
you're stewing, and in turn, a protein will add a
sort of a silky quality to the sauce as it
releases stuff like fats in collagen. You can substitute for
that in vegetarian versions, though the finished product should be

like fork tender savory stuff in just despoonably thick, bright
hot sauce that's sort of brick red in color. It's
often served with rice or some other starch, like a
like a nice chewy flatbread or a soft roll. It
is just incredible comfort food. Windaloo is like it's like

when you sydle up next to a fire and the
warmth is so encompassing, and then it gets like a
little too hot and you have to scooch back for
a minute, but then you come in again for more.

Speaker 1 (04:31):
Hmm. Yeah, yeah, very accurate.

Speaker 2 (04:36):
Yeah, uh okay, So yes, there are a lot of
different types of winduloo because it's a dish that started
as a product of colonization. So from the get you know,
it's been a meddling of culinary traditions and it's since
gone global and been adapted and readapted. So some versions

are fiery hot, like some of the hottest dishes on
a restaurant's menu. Some have a thicker, almost like pure
kind of quality to them. And of course the type
of protein or not protein that you add is going
to change everything. I haven't really run across the type
of impassioned arguments about different styles of vindaloo the way

that I've seen with some other dishes that vary, you know,
like I've seen preferences, yes, but not like heck you
that is not vindaloo. But if anyone has a strong
opinion like that, polease right in. Oh yes, oh yeah, okay.
So however, however you're doing it when you make it,
what you're probably going to do is start with a

blended spice paste sometimes referred to as a wet masala.
This is going to be a ground spice blend made
into a paste with vinegar and maybe some water. You
can adjust a taste, but you're looking for like a warming,
earthy blend of silk road sort of ingredients, stuff like
a dried black pepper, cuman, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and

or nutmeg, and then some fresh ginger and or tumeric.
You're going to also add some fresh garlic and maybe onion.
The chili content can really vary. Some kind of fruity
mild like bright red dried chili is traditional type called
kesh mary chilies if you can get them, but I've
seen substitutions like a guahio or a paprika. You can

also add a fresh hot chilies to the blend or
hot chili powder to add an extra fruity note and
possibly mitigate some of the spice with a little bit
of sweetness. You might add tamarin paste or a tomato
product along those lines. Some recipes also call for a
bit of sugar or others sweetener. And yeah, this is
all going to get ground up together and then thinned

out with vinegar. And again here you get some personalization
that perhaps most traditional vinegars are going to be palm
vinegar or coconut vinegar, which are like bright and a
little bit sweet in addition to being tart. I've run
across localized recipes that sub in red wine vinegar or
apple cider vinegar. These days, you can buy pre made
vindaalu massala as either a dry spice blend or in

a jarred paste form. Yeah, but at any rate, then
you have your main ingredient. Pork is the most traditional,
a good stewing section like the shoulder or butt maybe,
but you can really use anything you like, beef, chicken, lamb, goat, tofu,
maybe mushrooms or cauliflower. Most recipes call for you to
marinate whatever main ingredient you're using in a coating of

this spice paste, though due to the vinegar content, you
might want to back up off of that. Exposure to
vinegar can cause textures in meat that you might consider off,
like like dryness in pork or mushiness in chicken, because
vinegar affects protein fibers similar to the way that physical
heat does. See sevch for more on that. But okay,

either way, you give this main spice coated ingredient a
nice browning in a deep pan, then add some water
turn down the heat and simmer for as long as
it needs to cook through and cook down to the
textures that you're going for for the main ingredient and
the sauce. You might cook a main vegetable separately and
add it once the sauce is reduced, depends on what

you're going for. Some versions do add chunks of boiled
potatoes toward the end of cooking, which happens sometimes in
other curries and Indian subcontinent stews, which is yes where
this comes from. The potatoes might have come about because
of the name vindaloo alu being a word for potatoes

and Hindi, So like someone only vaguely familiar with the
recipe but familiar with Hindi might assume the potatoes should
go in there. Yeah, it's got a different etymology than that.
More on that in the history section. But yeah, the
potatoes might just work their way in there because potatoes
are tasty.

Speaker 1 (08:54):
Yeah, they soak up with sauce. Real.

Speaker 2 (08:56):
Well, yeah, I am so rarely mad at a potato.
It Basically I'm like, oh, no, you put a potato.

Speaker 1 (09:03):
In this, I guess I'll eat it. I shall suffer through.

Speaker 2 (09:12):
Yeah, No, it's not it's not the case, but so yes,
uh vindaloo is usually served with steamed rice and or
a flat bread like non to help scoop the sauce.
In Goa, where the dish originated, there's a tradition of
these slightly sweet, yeast raised rolls called pale I think
that's how you say it, And honestly, that sounds amazing. Yes,

like that sounds a little bit like what y'all are
talking about when you tell us about those cinnamon rolls
with chili, like that situation. Yeah, okay, anyway, uh vindalou
is sometimes garnished with toasted cashews. I understand it's often
a celebratory dish served around holidays. Also, so like many stews,

it legit does get better after it's been sitting in
the fridge overnight because the flavors kind of all meld together.
If you if this is a spicier version, it will
also get spicier, So watch out for that.

Speaker 1 (10:13):
Yes, oh yes, good to know, good to know. Well,
what about the nutrition.

Speaker 2 (10:23):
It depends on what goes into it and what the
main ingredient is, you know. I'd say that it can
potentially be colorically dense with fats but usually also has
good punches of protein and or dietary fiber, and some
good spreads of micronutrients. Eat a vegetable.

Speaker 1 (10:38):
Yeah yeah, yeah, perhaps in the stew yeah, yes, Well
the number section has a frightening a frightening bullet point.

Speaker 2 (10:52):
Yeah, it has a single bullet point in it, and
the bullet point contains just four question marks. Because there
are some numbers in the history section, but I felt
weird about putting them here because they don't really apply
specifically to the dish, which is right like this international

multicultural thing. So yeah, so I don't know. The numbers
were difficult for me to track down about vendaloo specifically.

Speaker 1 (11:26):
Yes, as can be the case with these dishes for sure.
Oh yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah. Well you will find
some of those numbers interspersed in the history section. Hm.

Speaker 2 (11:40):
And we are going to get into that as soon
as we get back from a quick break for a
word from our sponsors.

Speaker 1 (11:53):
And we're back, Thank you sponsor, Yes, thank you, Okay,
So yes, Vendaloo is largely believed to have been influenced
by the Portuguese dish of a meat that was marinated
with wine, vinegar and garlic called carne de vigno dios
and this is allegedly where the name bindeloo comes from.

Speaker 2 (12:15):
Yes, that's a vin root for the fermented grape product
as in vine or wine, and alu kind of root
for the garlic as in alioms.

Speaker 1 (12:27):
Yes. So, in order to make meat last longer for
these long journeys, the Portuguese immersed and marinated meat in
a stock of salt, garlic, wine, and vinegar, which both
preserved the meat and added flavor. They would take these
meats as they traveled across the oceans, including to India.
During their colonization of the area during the fifteenth century,

the Portuguese introduced this dish to that area. As always
with dishes like this, it was adapted based on local
ingredients and tastes.

Speaker 2 (13:01):
Okay, So the Portuguese started out on the west coast
of the Indian Sun continent, and pretty quickly they settled
their seat of power there in the city of Goa
during the fifteen teens. They would continue ruling that area
until nineteen sixty one. During that four hundred and fifty years, well, well,
a lot of things happened, but Goa became a hub

of European trade. It was already a hub of trade
with Africa and lots of Asia to the east. It
also became the site of heavy Catholic missionary activity, like
they had an archdiocese set up there by fifteen thirty four,
and it became the home base of the Jesuits in Asia.

Speaker 1 (13:43):
Yes, and one thing India didn't really have at the
time was the wine vinegar that was typically used in
the marinade for this meat, so Franciscan priest made their
own by fermenting available palm wine.

Speaker 2 (13:59):
Is also where the local puckery tamarind paste would have
made its way into the recipe as a substitute for
some of that vinegar.

Speaker 1 (14:06):
Flavor, and other local ingredients found their way into the mix,
including things like cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and tamar and
garlic and paprika from the Portuguese version remained pretty standard too. However,
one of the main ingredients that would eventually end up
in Bindelu reflected globalization and colonization at the time. The

Portuguese introduced chili peppers from the Americas to India, especially
in this case specifically go o, which yes very important. Potatoes,
tomatoes and cashews from the Americas were also introduced around
this time.

Speaker 2 (14:47):
And there were of course already a lot of like rich,
complex stews and other meat dishes in area cuisines at
the time, so it just makes sense that the local
people adopted these new ingredients into their recipes. Also cross
adopted adapted recipes such as this thing that bindalou was
becoming absolutely.

Speaker 1 (15:09):
And soldiers of the British Empire that were part of
the occupation of India were big fans of these dishes
that combined taste of the East with taste of the West,
and bendalou was one of those dishes. They especially sought
out those prepared by Christian cooks who cooked with beef
and pork without religious restrictions, and many of these chiefts

had been converted by those Catholic missionaries, and these missionaries
were key and spreading the dish throughout the area through
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This involved the destruction of
a lot of Hindu temples and driving out of Hindu
and Muslim peoples from their homes. To that end, many
who were forcibly converted feared repercussions if they were found

to be not Christian enough, and this meant perhaps leaning
into things like cooking beef or pork.

Speaker 2 (16:00):
Oh yeah, yeah, like the Inquisition was in Goa by
fifteen sixty, and just a really immediate way of seeing
if someone was still keeping Hindu or Muslim practices was
to see if they would refuse to eat beef or pork.
Note here that the taboo on beef was not and

has not since then, been applied unilaterally. For why, I
understand as a cast issue, people from lower casts might
not have had a particular problem with adopting beef. For
other people this might have been like a schism with
their community and personal identity. Meanwhile, the British were unexcited

about Portugal and the Catholics making these profitable footholds on
the Indian subcontinent. They had a number of naval clashes
leading up to the turn of the sixteen hundreds, and
immediately after the turn the British started establishing their notably
corporate interests there on either side of the subcontinent, quite
a bit further up north on each side, at first

through their East India Company, the British started to really
expand there in the seventeen hundreds until the Empire flat
took over most of it in the eighteen fifties.

Speaker 1 (17:14):
Yes, and it was during the eighteenth century, when British
colonization in India had been going on for a while,
that the British at large were more widely introduced to
vndalou through chefs and cooks from Goa who prepared it
and due to the taste of the British, Yeah, they
also sought out Christian cooks who cooked it with pork
and beef. When recipes for this dish started appearing in

British Indian cookbooks, they stuck pretty closely to the traditional
Indian preparation what had been happening. However, as the dish
gained popularity in England, especially during the nineteen seventies when
Indian restaurants became hugely popular in the UK, the understanding
of it there kind of changed into something that was
much more of a hot curry. The rice vinegar was

largely dropped, the meat was not marinated.

Speaker 2 (18:04):
Yeah, okay, like I mean, like there have been curry
houses in England since the early eighteen hundreds, but yeah,
the British Indian restaurant style cuisine really developed with a
couple of big waves of immigration from the subcontinent to
the UK in the nineteen hundreds due to waves of
political unrest, one in the nineteen forties and fifties surrounding

the partition of India, and then again in the sixties
and seventies surrounding the founding of Bangladesh. A lot of
these Indian restaurants in England, perhaps some eighty percent, are
actually run by Bangladeshi.

Speaker 1 (18:42):
According to one source I read and I would love
if anybody can confirm this. In the seventies, when this
dish vindalou gained a lot of popularity at British Indian restaurants,
something of a spicy challenge became associated with it, which
is just given that is still such a thing. I
would love to know. I would love yeah, yeah, yeah. Also,

the dish was even further popularized by the British band
fat Less Fat Lace with their song Vendaloo, which eventually
was adopted as the unofficial song of English football fans
at the nineteen ninety eight FIFA World Cup. Quote Vendaloo, Vendaloo, Vendalou,
We're gonna score one more than you.

Speaker 2 (19:34):
This song hit number two in the charts that year
and it is fascinating. Oh okay, So, from what I understand,
fat Less is a joke band that was created in
order to make this song happen. Like buy some musician
friends who thought it would be funny to make a
parody of football chants that that's soccer chance for our
friends who use Imperial, And they thought it would be

extra funny to make the the crux of the chant
the name of this popular dish from a minority culture
in England, whom a lot of the more obnoxious football
fans were always railing against.

Speaker 1 (20:09):

Speaker 2 (20:11):
I went down a whole rabbit hole about this, you guys,
so okay. So it's like Alex James from Blur and
Guy Pratt who has toured a lot with Pink Floyd. Okay,
And they had Keith Allen write the lyrics. He's this
actor and he's also the father of Lily Allen, the musician,
and Alfie Allen, who was thean Gray Joy and who

unintentionally contributed a line to the song. And perhaps because
this whole situation is so hecking British, it yes has
become an actually popular football chant. Apparently they all make
a tidy sum in royalties surrounding major tournaments.

Speaker 1 (20:51):
It doesn't surprise me. It doesn't surprise me at all,
to be honest.

Speaker 2 (21:01):
It really makes the most sense in all certain honestly, right.

Speaker 1 (21:09):
Oh man?

Speaker 2 (21:13):
Anyway, all right, back to Bindalou the dish so Okay.
Cuisines from the Indian subcontinent have been underrepresented in the
United States, especially compared with our population of people from

that part of the world. Like, as of twenty fifteen,
there were only an estimated five thousand Indian restaurants in
the States out of an estimated six hundred thousand total restaurants.
That's around like zero point seven percent of restaurants, despite
the Indian population being around one point two percent at

the time. The market share for Indian at home cooking
ingredients at the time lined up with that population percentage
no higher. There has been growth in the population and
the restaurants scene and the availability of these ingredients since then.

Speaker 1 (22:19):
But I don't know, Yeah, it just.

Speaker 2 (22:21):
Makes me wonder if we're if we're in for a
boom here. Although restaurant industry experts have been pontificating about this,
wondering why these cuisines are not more popular and predicting
a boom for about a decade now. So I don't know.

Speaker 1 (22:38):
I don't know.

Speaker 2 (22:39):
I hope there is, because I want to eat these
things more.

Speaker 1 (22:42):
Yes, agreed or degree?

Speaker 2 (22:48):
Yeah as I, as I often say, we hear in
Atlanta are very lucky to have a large population of
immigrants from many places around the world who share parts
of their culture, and delicious food is certainly one of them.
We are a city that loves to eat and that

has amazing places just everywhere, so many good little hole
in the wall kind of kind of spots. And the cravings,
the cravings. Luckily I have leftovers. Sorry, sorry, sorry for you, Annie.

Speaker 1 (23:29):
What's your address again? Just curious? Oh my gosh. Yes,
I've got to get some. I do. I do love
Indian food, and I too, am very excited to try it.
And I'm very excited that vindaloo is in my future.

I will make it happen.

Speaker 2 (23:51):
Yeah. The place in Atlanta that I've ordered what I
believe to be a more a more going version from
is is called Desi Spice in Midtown So okay.

Speaker 1 (24:03):

Speaker 2 (24:04):
They specify on the menu that it's only slightly spicy,
and it's one of the few dishes that you can't
choose your own spice level for They're like, no, no, no,
we know better than you. This is it, this is it.
It also does come with I didn't mention this in
the in the kind of about section, but but it
also comes with a little bit of a thicker layer

of like oil, like like chili infused oil on when
when when when the dish comes out, which, from what
I understand, is especially uh in versions that use pork
is kind of a signifier of quality of the dish
because it means that you've had like a decent fat
cap on whatever pork product that you've been using.

Speaker 1 (24:46):
So mm hmm, okay, craving intensifier. But we would love
to know from you listeners if you have any recipes
or tastes around this that you prefer our opinions.

Speaker 2 (25:05):
That you have Oh yes, always yeah.

Speaker 1 (25:09):
Always yes. But I think that's what we have to
say about Vendlou for now.

Speaker 2 (25:12):
I think it is. We do already have some listener
mail for you, though, and we are going to get
into that as soon as we get back from one
more quick break for a word from our.

Speaker 1 (25:19):
Sponsors, and we're back. Thank you, sponsor. Yes, thank you,
and we're back with listen a warm hug, very warm sometimes.

Speaker 2 (25:45):
Sometimes very warm.

Speaker 1 (25:47):
Yeah. Okay, so we got another letter about the eclipse.
Oh yeah, yes, Sheldon wrote. It. Just so happened that
my brother has a place in upstate New York that
was right in the center of totality. I went down
with the sun and his family for a visit. There

were also a bunch of his friends from New Jersey.
We thought briefly about having Eclipse nemed food, but quickly
decided that we'd have food that tools good. Things started
with the breakfast food that, as far as I know,
my brother created right on the spot. He toasted an
English muffin for the grandkids, sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar,

and then topped it with a big squirt of whipped cream.
The grandkids loved it. I have an Uoni pizza oven
and it makes great pizza. I brought it down with me,
along with well fermented dough, cheese and sauce. Nothing like
sitting in the snow eating fresh made pizza while waiting
for the eclipse. I made ten pizzas for everyone. One

of my granddaughters had the job of putting the pepperonion
of some of the pizzas, and she went overboard on
the pizzas she was going to get. But it wasn't
Eclipse Day, so who can complain. Then to finish it off,
we brought down a treat for all and something new
to the New Jersey Heights. I brought down a leader
of maple syrup from another sun's tree to make tir

de rabla choulanje. It's a common treat here in Quebec
in the maple season. You boil the maple syrup until
it's nice and thick, then pour it in lines on
snow where it thickens more. You then use a wooden
stick like an ice cream stick, and roll it onto
it to eat. We were fortunate there had been a
nice snowfall a couple of days earlier. Oh wow, all

of that, all of that, all of this sounds amazing.
Pictures were sent. It looks like everyone had a great time.
I personally am of the belief. A lot of these
do fit the eclipse themed food. Okay, yeah, because a
pizza circular. Sure, these English breakfast muffins same also same. Yeah.

I think you can, I think you can make the
case I'm not saying you have to, but I'm saying
that you could.

Speaker 2 (28:18):
Yeah, and there's you know, the the pepperoni could be
like the craters in the moon kind of uh sure, sure,
I'm stretching on the maple syrup. I'm not coming up
with anything off the top of my.

Speaker 1 (28:31):
Head, but yeah, sure, yeah, definitely, I'm sure there's a way.

Speaker 2 (28:36):
But it's dark, dark and sweet like the eclipse.

Speaker 1 (28:40):
There you go, there you go. Maybe I was going
for some like bug metaphor. I don't know, Okay, I
don't know why specifically, but something about like craters and
buring bugs and ever the case, this sounds delicious. I

think like eating Freshmeade pizza while watching and eclipse sounds
like a truly divine.

Speaker 2 (29:13):
Experience, so absolutely transcendental. Yeah, yes, oh heck yes, Mikayla wrote,
I just listened to your goat episode, and yes, I
love goats. They are hilariously adorable. Their meat is delicious,

their cheese is delicious, and the super expensive goat milk
helped my sister when she couldn't process cow's milk. Goats
are the best. The first time I had goat was
at my parents' wedding anniversary, like twenty years ago, they
had biria stewed goat traditional to Halisco, Mexico, where my
family is descended from, and it was so good. But
biria di chivo chivo a goat is surprisingly hard to find.

Even here in San Diego where I live now, uh
Vidia derez beef is much more common. It's good, but
it's just not the same. If you ever plan a
Savor trip to southern California, there's a restaurant here called
sis Jlisco Berria, and guess what they serve. Also, Beiria
tacos are just made different. The Internet will show you

non food goat factoid. I used to live in Sacramento
and the neighboring city of West Sacramento. Yes, it's a
different city uses goats for fire control. They have collectively
become a local celebrity.

Speaker 1 (30:34):
Yes, this came with a video of the goats in action.

Speaker 2 (30:37):
They're really good at clearing brush, you know.

Speaker 1 (30:41):
Yeah, Skill, We've got to respect the goats, I mean
we do. They're the goat of beer. I love that
they've become a celebrity and gotten the recognition.

Speaker 2 (30:56):
That's important to Yeah, that's that's really good. Because right,
they deserve every moment of it, those weird peopled delicious buddies.

Speaker 1 (31:05):
Yeah. Can you imagine just like becoming famous by eating grass?

Speaker 2 (31:14):
Well, we have low key just become famous by eating Annie.
You're not grass, but.

Speaker 1 (31:21):
We're us in the goats. You're right. I like it.
I like being in their tear.

Speaker 2 (31:29):
Yeah, oh, I'll take it. That's the highest compliments I
could think of, same tier as gops.

Speaker 1 (31:37):
I'll put you on that same level. Yeah. Also, I
love but yeah, I had it recently when I was
in California at like a hole in the wall restaurant
that I kind of found on accident. It was so
amazing that I tried to recreate it when I got home.

Oh right, yeah, and you know, my Laurence heard a
lot of my woes about the size of my freezer
because the recipe made way too much. Won't trust me.
But it was delicious. It was so good. Hi bad? Yeah? Yeah,

more cravings. Yeah. I love when we get to the
end of an episode or you had one craving and
then something else from the listener mail is like, but also,
but what about I'm like, oh what about that? I
would like that'll be good yes well. Thank you, as

always listeners for giving us these cravings for writing in.
If you would like to write to us, you can
Our email is hello at favorpod dot com.

Speaker 2 (32:54):
We are also on social media. You can find us
on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at saber pod and we
do hope to hear from you. Savor is production of iHeartRadio.
For more podcasts from my Heart Radio, you can visit
the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to
your favorite shows. Thanks as always to our super producers
Dylan Fagan and Andrew Howard. Thanks to you for listening,
and we hope that lots more good things are coming

your way

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