Tuesday, January 28, 2014

La Douceur de Vivre

So after being notified that I have high-ish cholesterol (particularly high for someone who eats a plant-based diet and is active), what do I do? I fly to France, land of puff pastries and promptly eat my little heart out.  Just this week, I’ve had the following:

This tropezienne is a delicious treat with whipped buttercream sandwiched between brioche cake, rock sugar sprinkled on top. YUM.

This is called a meringue. It is hard on the outside with a marshmallow-y center. It’s gooey and lovely, but there is something just a bit strange at the end. Not an aftertaste exactly, before that. Hard to describe.

The caramel scoop on the bottom (which left oo so delicious caramel bits stuck to my teeth) was better than the pistachio scoop on top.

I was slightly disappointed with this ├ęclair because it was full of something like chocolate pudding when I was expecting a decadent whipped buttercream. But the dark and swarthy man who sold it to me was charming, with the little children running in and out of his shop, calling his name, and catching the little chocolates he threw at them.

I’ve forgotten what this was called, but let’s call it AMAZING. The whipped middle is hazelnut and mind-blowing and the crust is a light, flaky pastry shell, made sweeter with sprinkled powdered sugar.

…and this does not include the croissants, chocolates, macrons or chocolate-covered tea biscuits that have also been happening in high frequency.

And should I feel bad about eating all of this? Maybe. Except I don’t. And I especially don’t after I just finished reading “Daily Rituals” by Mason Currey—which basically outlines how most artistic types are extremists of one kind or another, with poisons ranging from opium, to alcohol, to snails (did you know that Patricia Highsmith loved snails so much that she smuggled them into France, six under each breast?!?)

So the bottom line folks, is if the worst I can do is gorge myself on puffy pastries in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so be it. I’m not sorry. And neither should you be, my weirdo-artsy-type friends. Embrace your strange and amazing gifts. The world will be sweeter for it. 


  1. i can't believe you can be sooo pretty after all that yummy !

  2. Awww, thanks! It helps that I don't smear the goodness all over my face before eating it :)

  3. Wow what a lovely read that has me literally drooling. Thanks for the book recommendation. Food is my last (hopefully) addiction to conquer. Booze, cigs, etc. were so much easier to quit. My youngest son is a baker-in-training so I can't do Cruz's "The 100" at least not 100%. One day a week, I told my son, I'll try 1/2 of a new creation. After 15 years of days like of indulgence interspersed with dozens of "starting tomorrow's" I have some ...unwinding to do. ;) O.D.A.A.T.∞ I am looking for you on Facebook btw. Found you on Twitter. Niki

  4. Hi Niki:

    I think you are already doing amazing! If you can limit yourself to HALF of anything only ONCE a week, that is amazing! I've had 5 cookies and a hunk of chocolate JUST TODAY, LOL. If you read the book "Daily Rituals" you will realize that writers have all kinds of addictions (especially of the sweet and caffeinated varieties ;) You are totally normal. :)

    And here I am on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/korymshrum

  5. Gosh I love France. Can't wait to go back.

    I logged on to say, that after-taste from the meringues is probably egg! When we make meringues at home we try to slam enough sugar in there that you don't get aftertaste, but pretty much that's part of the experience, lol.