Saturday, 19 April 2014

Indulge your sweet tooth in France

It's downright cruel. Here I am in France, known for its culinary delights, in the centre of a Europe known for its sweet morsels, but I can't, in all discipline, indulge. A whiff of sticky sweetness, the merest lap of tongue against lolly, even the cracking sound of a slab of chocolate being divided is enough to put half a kilo on my scales. It's the unjust burden of middle age. I rail against it but it does no good. And then JC insists on visiting the Salon du chocolat at Chartres.

There you will see sights unknown in New Zealand. How would you feel about a block of nougat the size of a small dog kennel?

Or rows and rows of sherbets, suckers, and dainty sweet pastry thingees. Oh the chocolate section. For goodness sake - who actually eats all this stuff? It can't be the French women with their pipe-cleaner thighs.

Every flavour imaginable was there, and then others unimaginable. The disappointment for me was the dried  kwifruit slices - tasteless and pointless. There was quite a bit of maroccan fare there, presented on plates. All of which was completely new to me. Beautiful presentation though. The French excel at this sort of thing.

The only thing we came away with were some tourteaux from the Poitou-Charente region. They are of a savoury dough nature inside with a burnt top, a nugget of cheese inside at the base. They look like canonballs. We bought some for the sentiment - my French ancestors having come from that region.

We didn't eat or buy any chocolate, incredible though it seems. When you're surrounded by a surfeit of delectable delights like this you can feel so overwhelmed there's just nowhere to start. So... enjoy the torture of these photos from your armchairs.

PS. There were other foods such as dried meats and cheeses, cheeses, cheeses on offer too.


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