French Pastries Interlude

This may seem strange but I hadn’t had cake in ages.  Years.  Or other desserts, for that matter.  Sweet treats don’t appeal much so I didn’t miss them.  French pastries, however, those little pieces of heaven; I simply avoid them.  This approach was going swimmingly until…well, I’m not sure what happened.

I stopped in a lovely little restaurant for a cup of tea.  In between rushes, the atmosphere is relaxed.  A waiter brings by the dessert cart.  Thank you, I’m fine.  Maybe a cheese or appetizer plate.  Then my attention lingers on the cart.

How curious.  I hadn’t been tempted before.  The waiter smiles as his hand sweeps over the offerings.  I smile back and shake my head.  May I make a recommendation?  Why not.

He returns with an assortment of miniature delicacies beautifully arranged on a single plate.  My expression must have been enough and he places it on the table.  Petit four; opera cake; profiterole; mille-feuille; quatre quart; Saint-Honore…. Where to start?

Easing in to the decadence, starting with a small morsel of puff pastry and cream.  Savoring the textures and gentle distinctive flavors…it would be enough to stop there.  But that would be ungrateful, wouldn’t it?  Following with layers of subtle richness, mingling occasional drizzles of bitter chocolate.  I could have walked away then, utterly fulfilled.  Instead, breathing deeply, closing my eyes, lingering over sips of strong hot tea.  Ever so slowly, tiny intense doses of fresh dark berries, cloud light meringue….

An unexpected flavor explodes on my palate.  Tears spring to my eyes.  Familiar yet so distant… at the tip of my fingers and out of reach… mango!  Transported to another time, another place.

Understanding the true exquisiteness of French pastries only once I’d forgotten.

~

32 thoughts on “French Pastries Interlude

      1. A total disappointment… MacArthur Park was a drug infested place. We bought 5 little cakes… 60 dollars are they serious. We are halfway between La and SF at a motel, we left LA and hit a usual 2 hour 405 traffic jam near LAX

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        1. That’s so sad about MacArthur Park. I wonder if the city has some kind of plan… I guess they’ll have to at some point. $60 for 5 little cakes, wow! I hope they’re amazing. What an exhausting trip, I’m sorry it wasn’t better. Maybe it’s time for a new tradition? I hope there will be less craziness at this motel….

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          1. The homelessness in LA is worse than in the SF Bay Area. I’m not talking about a hundred tents, the whole park looked like a encampment around the edge… we are in a small town on The 5 called Santa Nella… Do you folks have high homeless rates where you are?

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    1. Uncle Snacky! Haha. 🙂 I’ll try to resist calling you Uncle Snacky from now on….
      Thank you for the wonderful compliment. There may be a second helping somewhere down the line because I’m not sure I quite captured the depth of the experience.

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  1. A difficult and daily temptation faced by Diabetics everyday … there are days I would kill for a simple glazed donut …(excellent post Ms Danica – my sugar went up eighty points just reading it) g

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