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dessert anyone?? ou, as-tu une ceinture abdominale !?

“Sometimes, it’s just easier to say yes to that extra snack or dessert, because frankly, it is exhausting to keep saying no. It’s exhausting to plead with our kids to eat just one more bite of vegetables.” —Michelle Obama

“If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept, chocolate will revive you. But you have no chocolate! I think of that again and again! My dear, how will you ever manage?” ―Marie de Rabutin-Chantal de Sévigné, 1626-1696

“I have never made a mistake when I asked for  a dessert.” —Michael Groves

The pâtisserie, or pastry store, is as prevalent in France as is the boulangerie, or bread store. One thinks of the Frenchman with a baguette under his arm as iconic.

I would argue that the French like desserts more than Americans. That is, the French are more inclined to order a dessert during lunch or dinner than Americans.

Many Americans will ‘grab-and-go” a lunch, and desserts do not fit well into that pattern of behavior. They might eat a slice of pizza or a hamburger for lunch, and what dessert would follow?

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” –Erma Bombeck

The French sit down to eat lunch and dinner and order one to three courses, one of which might be the dessert. The typical French meal consists of l’entrée and le plat principal or le plat principal and le dessert or one can order all three.

Typically, in France I order the former, l’entrée et le plat principal. I have noticed though that many French will choose the dessert, that is, they will order le plat principal et le dessert. They are more sensible.

(Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

“A party without cake is just a meeting.” –Julia Child

What is a typical American dessert? A slice of cake or a slice of pie or maybe a scoop or two of ice cream? Notice that those desserts are a part of a larger whole. One bakes a cake and then serves a slice of it.

The French like individual desserts. Each person receives a whole dessert.

(Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

“When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmm boy!” —Jack Handey

Crème brûlée is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served at room temperature. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but can have a variety of other flavorings.”

(Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

“Promises and pie-crust are made to be broken.” –Jonathan Swift

“The tarte tatin, named after the hotel serving it as its signature dish, is an upside-down pastry in which the fruit (usually apples) are caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. It originated in France but has spread to other countries over the years.”

(Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

“The 12-step chocoholics program: Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate!” —Terry Moore

I would argue as well that the French desserts are more complicated in their construction and, consequently, more interesting and surprising when you eat them.

Some French desserts are illustrated here. Some I chose and some came with the lunch.

(Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

“I hope there’s pudding!” —J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“A café gourmand is an espresso and a selection of mignardises (also known as petits fours) served together.”

(Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” —David Mamet, Boston Marriage

Of course, there is always ice cream or sorbet. I might not order le dessert du jour at the end of a meal, but I might ask for a single scoop of ice cream or sorbet. It will cleanse the palate, so to speak, and will finish the meal with  light, sweet dish.

(Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jack Delaini #

    Well, Michael, you have certainly been living by the slightly modified aphorism of “Eating well is the best revenge!”

    A question for you: what is the best way to clean saliva off of a computer screen?

    Jack D.

    29/03/2018
    • I recommend smearing a bit of hot fudge over the saliva and figure out how to remove it all without using the hands.

      29/03/2018

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