Added Spice

My coworkers love when I have parties, not so much because they go but because they get the leftovers.  I had a lot of s’more parts and a goodly quantity of meatballs and those went quickly.  A coworker complimented me on the spicing:

Coworker: You’ve outdone yourself.  The spicing was spectacular.
Me: Thank you?  What did you like about the spicing?
Coworker: I don’t know, it was smokey and fuller tasting and I think there were bits of cilantro.
Me: I don’t think I added any.
Coworker: Well, whatever the dark flecks were added something to it.

I had no idea what they were talking about so I poked around the sauce that was left and found a small grey needle-like fleck.  It was a pine needle and there were about 1/2 a dozen in the portion of sauce I looked at.  I think each time we added a tree to the fire, the cloud of ash that came off would deposit a few needs in the very large meatball pot.  Luckily, these bits having been on fire weren’t a germ vector but just… added to the flavor.