Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No,no, no... It can't be. Can it?

Have you ever done something that was pretty much out of character for you, taken that road less travelled (usually for good reason) and found something... good? Well, that happened to me recently. Ok, just moments ago actually.

So, ok - I admit it, I made another trip to the vending machine. But this time it wasn't because I was starving, it wasn't because I had that growling beast in me that, oddly enough, fake creamy filling can only satiate. That only happens a few times a year, so it's not something I'm all to worried about, but still - why do I crave that stuff, and nougat? Some day science may help me to understand, but for today - I'm just going to have to be ok with it and try to eat desserts that are good, well made and healthy. Strangely - today's foray to the vending machine seemed to fit all of those. Today I made a trip to the vending machine because it was recommended. I'm as surprised as anyone. Truly.

The 'Broad Street Bakery Apple Turnover' is today's trial, with no error and no guilty verdict. It's a snack that is very flexible, and really could fit into the dessert category, because it really could be many things to many people, or even just one person. Breakfast, dessert, mid day snack or late night nosh when you can't sleep, but don't want to turn on the lights or appliances to make anything. I could easily see myself bringing these home, putting it in the oven to give it a bit more color while warming it up, dressing it up with some cinnamon and sugar, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream. For sleepover nights with my daughter - this is a dessert her friends would be very happy with, I'm sure, and because they could really do all the prep and serving, I wouldn't make a mess of my kitchen - which is something I'm happy with.

So - after that - how does it taste, right? Well - damn good. It's better than the faint memories I have of going to the store with my meager allowance, or hard earned lawnmowing money of my childhood to buy a Little Debbie or Hostess Apple Pie, comic book and pack of Big League Chew or Hubba Bubba (I liked blowing huge bubbles with that stuff.) I always remember the Apple Pie Turnovers of yore tasted sweet at first, but then they had this bitter or preservative filled fakeness that would creep in. I shortly thereafter switched to nougat almost full time (thanks Snickers), and fell into it's grips for many a year. If I had Broad Street Bakery as a choice, I might never have fallen in love with chocolate. Ok, I'm sure I would have - but it would have been at least a bit of a challenge to pick my purchase. I actually bought this because I heard some co-workers talking, raving about how good it was when I was getting a cup of coffee. Thanks Carl - I owe this one all to you because someone you told, told someone else about it - and I overheard it while they were buying it in anticipation of it's tasty goodness. How pleasantly surprised I was that Carl was right on target. Man knows his vending machine choices, while I, on the other hand, get lost - make a poor choice under all the pressure of people behind me and walk away with buyers remorse before I even eat. Speaking of which - there really should be a way to return a poor impulse buy before opening the little trap door, or a 'the thing I bought is stuck on the coils, please shake it loose' button - but I digress.

The Broad Street Bakery is an arm of Flowers Foods Specialty Group and, they've been in The Biz for awhile. Here's what Flowers Foods said about Broad Street Bakery, "This is a collection of truly premium snacks made with the finest ingredients and baked to our high-quality standards," explained Brent Bradshaw, Flowers' brand manager, in a prepared statement. "We believe vending operators will be able to sell this new premium line of pastries at premium price-points." You can real the full article here if you like. Looking at the ingredients list, it does seem quite a bit shorter than many others I've read. Thankfully I recognize most of the ingredients, and many of the others seem like they are pretty innocuous, the strange one being Sodium Hexametaphosphate as it's an ingredient in most whitening toothpastes, and is used to help make ceramic slip - though, sadly, it was never invited into Julia Child's kitchen.

So maybe the trips to the vending machine aren't all that bad anymore. Ok - you might work in a place, or be near a place that has the amazing vending machines, the ones that are restocked with yogurts, apples, fresh made sandwiches or have coffee makers that grind beans for each and every person. While I've enjoyed those int he past - we just have two ominous looking vending machines that are stocked once a week and to have anything other than peanuts and pretzels I feel I can safely eat - huge. I mean Huge!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lost in the mist

It seems that I've been lost in the mist for a few days, but it wasn't me - it was my Internet Connection. Frustrating though it was,it hasn't ended my dessert eating - it simply made typing and posting a blog a very frustrating experience - and uploading photos? Fuhgeddaboudit!

So over the past five days I've eaten a number of items, taking some of the pictures with my point and shoot camera, instead of the normal cellphone camera pictures, but I still have some of those too.

The first item I received last Friday, and managed to post a link to them over to the left in my "Places I love to visit" section. That, my friend, will continue to grow. Of that you can be sure. Thanks to Leann at Lake Champlain Chocolates who handed me something that looks like a snack, but is actually quite large, yummy and filling. It's one of the '5 Star Chocolate Bars'.

Yes, there it is, the peanut version. It hearkened me back to the days of stopping in at a Diner in Newport years ago for a slice of, what my friend Leo told me was, a 'world famous worthy' Peanut Butter Pie. He wasn't wrong. Similarly to the pie, this Peanut '5 Star Bar' was much more filling than I expected. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't full - but it's hearty. If you go out hiking into the mountains in your Cable Knit sweater - this is a stick to your ribs kind of dessert. Plus, it's much easier to carry a few of these, than say, a container of hot Clam Chowder. If you brought both - it might be pretty much pure joy.

I have some pictures at the home computer that I'll upload later - as I always like to get the view that I see with my own eyes posted here. I love the professionally photographed desserts, but - let's be honest - how many of us have that kind of soft lighting in the space we eat our desserts? I mean other than me. You see - I do actually have access to the lights - but they're just not set up when I'm munching on my treats.

So what did I think of it - it's very tasty, and is exactly what you would expect it to be - based on this description they gave me "Crunchy peanuts, folded into an all-natural peanut butter and rice crisp center, then covered in milk chocolate." So you get some traffic in there, but it's not rush hour - it's just enough to give it a nice texture, the rice trucks the peanut butter and chocolate flavors around in your mouth and the chunks of peanut butter are not too big. It's just a really simple, peanutty taste. Thankfully, unlike some other Peanut snacks and desserts, it tastes like Peanuts and not like the Pea-not flavorings that your more commercial producers make. I loved it, I'm going back for more - oh - and I've eaten so many of these. I think the first one was picked up long ago at maybe Pier One or something, right near the register - one of those spur of the moment, 'Yep I have enough cash to get one of those too', purchases. I was glad I made it then, and glad I had one again.

I do have to say, there's a special place in my heart for Lake Champlain Chocolates. for some extra bucks, when my 13 year old was a baby, I picked up odd jobs after my normal work hours. One of them was working at LCC. I was the guy who cleaned the chocolate molds. Pretty mundane job. Every few months, for two weeks at a time, I would find myself, nearly alone in the evenings, in the huge expanse of space that was their former home on Pine Street - which I actually enjoyed.

The best part, however, was that every day at the end of my shift I was allowed to take a paper bag, about the size of what you pack a bag lunch in, fill it with seconds and bring them home. Yep - you heard me right - a sack of chocolates came home with me every day. That two week period I worked there after their run of Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and other holidays kept me in chocolate year round. And I got paid for it. That's the time, by the way, that I really developed my love of chocolate and began to taste the subtle differences in chocolate. Until then, I never appreciated the dark chocolates, and now I seek out the 70% and higher chocolates, the untempered chocolate and varieties with lavender and other fragrant additives. Thanks LCC!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wow, Daddy have you tried this?

Every so often, I make a trek down to a little town called Ferrisburg. Whenever I happen to be there, I always stop at the great 'Ferrisburg Trading Post' - just a great sandwich shop, with some amazing extras.

Not only do they have a great system for ordering sandwiches - where you write your order using dry erase markers on individual cards - they also have some great baked goods. One of my favorite things to do is grab an experimental looking cookie, just like I did again today, and enjoy it after my lunch. Sometimes, admittedly, I cheat and take a bite or two of the cookie before eating my lunch. It shouldn't came as too much of a surprise that I'm eating dessert first, is it?

So this week, I decided to pick up the Peppermint Fudge cookie that was staring back at me. On the top, it was covered with broken up pieces of Andes Chocolate Mints - the kind you get when you're finished dinner at some restaurants. Very tasty little niblets they are. How, then, could I refuse this tasty looking morsel with the minty chocolaty goodness dancing across the top? Note to self - get milk next time!

The flavor of this was, as Miss M described it from the other room when she bit into it, "Wow! Daddy have you tried this? It's amazing!" She perhaps uses fewer words to describe her experience with desserts. Things are, of course, always 'the best ever' or 'not the best ever' when she describes them. She's a teenager, and I'm just happy she's using more than the one word responses that I so frequently used at that age.

Kidding aside, she was right. When I bit into it, there was the fudge, but almost immediately the mint just absolutely flooded you with that cool rush. I recalled those Peppermint patty commercials where the person saying, "when I bite into a York Peppermint Patty I get the sensation that I'm..." You know the ones.

The thing that was wrong with the cookie was my lack of forethought. I ate mine before I got home and didn't have that necessary glass of milk. The cookie was so rich, and s minty delicious, but would have done well with the slight tempering that a cold glass of milk can offer. Instead, I ate the cookie very slowly - which wasn't bad either. Warning, if you're not a huge fan of mint, this actually could be overpowering without the milk. It definitely came borderline for me and the large first few bites I took, before I realized I didn't get milk, and had no coffee left in my travel mug. I held steady and made it to live another day, and eat another cookie. I'm hoping to travel again to Ferrisburg next week and see what cookie might be on the shelf. If necessary I'll stick a note to my forehead saying 'Make sure he buys milk'.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Finally - my brownie and cookie prayers have been answered

The heat is on, as Sweet Science brought in another lovely sample a cookie - Lemon Rosemary in fact - kind of a buttery shortbread. It was deliciously crisp and the buttery lemon hits you right away while you get an immediate fragrant sign of the rosemary - which softly joins in as the other flavors begin to melt away. Downright tasty! Their website is almost fully up and running, with more info and online ordering on the way, there is some basic contact information there as of the time I'm writing this along with an email address you can send to for their full catalogue (which will be online soon.)

Now, on to Vermont Brownie Company, who I'm also mentioned before. On Sunday I had my first 'official' sample. I tried, for the first time, the Maple Toffee Crunch (Whoa!) - as they say on their website. It's really damn tasty. It was good enough that I sampled it more than once. I also signed up to win a box of them at "Shelburne Museum Goes To The Dogs". I just happened to be there doing some MCing duties for Pet Food Warehouse who organizes SMGTTD.

Now if you're a person who likes a somewhat dry and non-fudge like brownie, I'm not sure this is for you. It's not so much that the brownie itself is fudgey - but the maple toffee, or the one I'm sampling right now - the Espresso Dulce de Leche, have ingredients that meld with the brownie and give it a similar texture in certain areas. I don't have any issue with fudge, or anything reminiscent of it. If you don't think you like fudgey brownies - try this anyway. It's really kick ass. The sea salt on the Dulce de Leche is absolutely a welcome addition that just kicks the flavor of this concoction (with espresso beans in it btw) right into high gear. Now before you do anything else - plan your dessert dates accordingly to sample some of these tasty treats from Sweet Science and Vermont Brownie Company.

Monday, September 15, 2008

No, it's not from my bellybutton!

Today's special dessert isn't really a dessert - it's another treat. I know, I know. I feel like I should be saying some hail mary's or something - but I'm not Catholic. The guilty pleasure of it all!

Today I'm blogging about a special Lindt Chocolate that was dropped off to me by the lovely lady who owns Queen City Ghostwalk. Did you know there was a Queen City - There is, it's Burlington, VT. Were you not aware that there was also a Ghostwalk? Well, again, there is! Queen City Ghostwalk used to be a halloween treat for all of us people who do believe Ghosts exist to get together, get all spookified and get some exercise too.

So she's been getting the word out this year as she's started doing the walks much earlier. Her way to entice people to pay attention (yep, it worked) was to give me some of these chocolates.

Ok, so I have a weakness. This is nothing new - I've been aware of this and chosen to do nothing about my weakness for chocolate. It's a personal choice, it's how I live and until I spiral down into a pool of chocolate in a factory led by a man with a funny hat and a cane, then get stuck in a tube like Augustus Gloop - which I think would pretty much be rock bottom in the scheme of things - then I'll live with my addiction. *phew* Gotta remember to breathe.

So yes, I had a number of chocolates that are the typical Lindt dark chocolate on the outside, then it's like a white chocolate truffle inside. Not generally a fan of the white chocolate, which is interesting because Vanilla is my favorite Ice Cream. I digress - it was yummy and delicious and I wanted more, and had more. They're cute little chocolates with little ghosties on them. See - now you're picking up on the theme aren't you? I took some other pictures, but they're pretty fuzzy. Here they are for you to take a peek at.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Time to get Friendly

Yesterday I owed Rabid a lunch, but he had packed one already, in fact - he had extra. So he gave a sandwich to me and I treated him to some ice cream. Where did we go? Well - we decided on Friendly's. He had one of the classics - the Fribble. Rabid's a lover of the milkshake, and in my opinion of all the milkshakes you can get out on the Road - Friendly's Fribble is definitely tops. I hate to go back to the same places again and again, but if you want to get one of the best milkshakes anywhere - go to Mother Myrick's in Manchester, VT. Definitely topping the all time list of a real milkshake.

So what did I have, The Forbidden Fudge Brownie Sundae.

Here's what Friendlys has to say about it "Forbidden Fudge Brownie - Be a little bad! Tempt your taste buds with Forbidden Chocolate® ice cream mixed with brownie chunks, hot fudge and Swiss chocolate toppings. Finished with whipped topping and sprinkles. Go for it!"

This was really, really good. The brownie chunks held up well, which is always tricky in ice cream. A brownie that's amazing outside ice cream, isn't always the one you want in ice cream. I'm sure this is a well protected secret formula designed specifically for adding to sundaes.

The only way this could have been better is if I had remembered to get water. The problem with a sundae is that you almost always get overloaded, and can no longer taste all the nuances. Unless - of course - you take a break. The problem then, is you run the risk of having a puddle. Especially when you eat it outside in a to go container like I did. It should be noted that I didn't give or take points for presentation, since I got it to go.

So this dessert is rated 4.5 chomps on a scale of 0-5 (5 being the best.) The one problem, there were some ice crystals in the ice cream that detracted slightly from the dessert. Now I know - this isn't the fanciest dessert, aand it's probably not even very healthy - but I was content after I ate this. I needed nothing more (except a drink of water) when I was done. That's a great feeling, and it's what I'm after when I eat desserts.

Just remeber - like all things in life - your results may vary.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ahhh... the Brownie

I'm quite pleased with Sweet Science. Not only is the owner/operator/baker a peach, she also brings me food to test out, along with some other friends. So far there hasn't been a bad one in the bunch.

The latest two to land on my desk were a spicy brownie and just a simple classic brownie. One was cut into triangle shapes (the spicy one) and here's the classic brownie, cut into the classic square. You may be able to see that there's a bit taken out of this, thanks to Rabid for the picture taking. His phone has a flash for the camera!

Wow! The spicy brownie was very tasty, and then.. the heat crept in. It snuck right up on me. It was definitely spicy! Not hot, sear the back of your throat closed and administer epinephrine.. no - it was just a nice warming that crept up the back of the tongue and slid across the throat a moment later.

Thinking on the heat, I suppose it's not that different in some ways from the heat you get from whiskey - but a totally different delivery system and the heat with the brownie also settled in and didn't leave right away. Can you tell I was sampling some whiskey recently? Of course, it was some of the good stuff - not the really pricey whiskey that your average guy or girl can't afford - but the very reasonably priced and very delicious Makers Mark. I know - that really doesn't have anything to do with dessert, does it? Still- I can't shake the similarity of that heat. I also love the melted wax that every bottle of Maker's Mark is sealed with.

So on to the classic brownie. Very classic, not too fudgey, not too crumbly - it was a great middle ground. It was very much a chocolate brownie, not just a brownie with a little chocolate and then some fats, oils and salts to try to 'fake' it. No - this was the real thing you were tasting. I happen to love the corner and edge pieces of brownies as I like the crispness you get at the edge and the nice moisture at the middle - but then those are typically the fudgey brownies I'm cooking. I wasn't left wanting with this one, except that I wanted to have about another half tray of them. This lady definitely got the simple basic brownie right - though I doubt it was as simple and basic in the making it as the end result appeared to be. This is a good jumping off point for those who like to add a few 'extras' to - but it doesn't leave you with the feeling something is missing if it's not in this brownie. I sure hope Sweet Science makes her treats more readily available - though a little bird has told me that Dobra Tea in Burlington might carry some of her tasty treats.

Soon, there will be some competition in play at my desk as Sweet Science will no longer be the only brownie in town, no. Vermont Brownie Company is coming.

They promise to tempt with Espresso, Mint and even White Chocolate with Raspberries. I did sample some early test brownies, but haven't yet had the pleasure of trying out the finished product for you. (hint, hint)

Monday, September 8, 2008

What goes better with cookies than dreams?

A cookie was dropped off to me - which I love! Anyone who wants to bring me desserts - please do!

Unfortunately my phone is not at my side!?! Pretty shocking.

I almost gave up on posting, and even life in general, or at least eating Cool Ranch Doritos - but I decided to get up, dust myself off and get back on the blogging horse I ride every day. It was a pretty big move.

So yeah, no phone means I don't have a picture of the cookie. When I retrieve it - I will post a picture of the tag that was attached to the cookie. The Cookie has been eaten - so there's no hope of one for now, and I couldn't find one online. The cookie, however, was from "Cookies & Dreams" though not, apparently, the chain store that bears the same name. These are for the New England Autism Center and are to raise funds for vocational opportunities for Autistic children. There's a whole story about it you can read here (Thanks Google for caching things!)

The tag, as you can see (or will shortly), is in the shape of a puzzle piece as they are 'putting the pieces together in Vermont' for kids with autism. Kind of a cool thing. You get to eat a cookie, and support a good cause. I actually have known a number of people with autism, from mile to severe, and many of them are quite well adjusted folk. One of the people I know actually didn't speak a word, occasionally making a sound or two, until she was more than three years old. You couldn't tell now as she's probably one of the most talkative people I know. I think she's making up for lost time - of course as women frequently speak more than men, word for word in a day, it could have been a normal amount and I'm just inflating things unrealistically. I do have a tendency to exaggerate once or twice a year.

Anyway - on to the cookie! If I can define a comfort dessert - it would definitely be the chocolate chip cookie. As a result - I don't frequently buy them. The Nestle Tollhouse tubes in the freezer section just don't get it right, the pre-cooked and pre-packaged storebought ones don't either. They either are crisp and flat, huge and half cooked, taste like some lab concoction, or are much like cardboard with some chips tossed in for good measure. Not this cookie. It was just like mom used to make, only better as it hadn't been sitting around for 20 years getting dry, stale and moldy. It was a tad soft - but that's what happens when a cookie isn't eaten straight from the oven. That's really the only way this cookie could have been more satisfying. On the Chocolate Chip Cookie scale - I'd definitely give it a 9, maybe a 9.5 on the olympic scale of a perfect ten. If I could eat one out of the oven and have a glass of cold milk nearby to chase it with - I believe we would have attained perfection.

Speaking of scales, I'm looking to create a scale of my own. So look for that to appear soon - so you can receive a clear rating of all these desserts I'm tasting.

I would love to tell you where this cookie came from - but it's still unclear. In the meantime - if you want to order some or offer assistance theres a number attached to the tag 802-999-8024 or newenglandautismcenter@gmail.com. I'm in touch with the folks who are behind this and I'll provide updates as I hear anything new.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Does anyone make these?

I've been trying to find something that I can't find anywhere, and on the advice of a Friend TL, I'm going to ask about it here. I'm looking for sour sprinkles - sour jimmies if you prefer. I can't seem to find them anywhere - though I can find sour everything else. I could probably find an entire sour village if I wanted to - but no sour sprinkles. Chocolate, multicolored rainbow sprinkles, christmas holly berry and leaf sprinkles, colored sugar to sprinkle on desserts - yep, in every color you can imagine. Yet no sour to sprinkle onto ice cream. I even saw Sour Legs a few times and you can check them out or buy them online if you really want to.

But no sour sprinkles. What in the world are my sour loving friends and family to do? On a side note, I don't get the whole sour thing. Doesn't do anything for me.. It's kinda like the 'bet you can't eat this pepper' thing. I don't give people food to see them in pain... it's against everything I believe in. However, a few of my friends really do love sour things, they make them laugh. Who am I to argue with their joy?

If you know of a place to get all things sour - please comment below!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Finally - our winner - Juniors Cannoli!

Ladies and gentlemen - our winner!

Yes, it's the Cannoli from The Bakery at Juniors in Colchester, VT. This was the hands down high vote (received some 'offline' votes for this in addition to the votes online.)

That picture is what they look like, snagged right from Juniors website. Here's the picture from my cellphone of what I actually picked up.

Something very cool - they fill them to order. They have a display case with plastic clam shells you can grab and bring to the counter, so you get just the shell you want - then they go in back and fill it for you right there. Very cool - I've only ever seen these in some of the other small markets in the area pre-filled. My bet, it's going to be better having been filled just moments ago. Of course, people in more metropolitan areas think this is how they're always served, heck - a co-worker of mine informed me he used to go to a place where you could have parties and get unfilled cannolis shells/tubes and fill them yourself. Not always the case out here in the Boondocks.

So the look of this is great, though I will admit - I've never been a big fan of Cannoli. I like the name, I like the look - but something altogether about the taste never won me over. However, I think it's partially because I had something that was assembled long before, and not fresh like this. Also - it reminds me of a candle burning at both ends.

See the similarity:

However, this was much tastier than others I have eaten. The ricotta was definitely nicely blended, with mini chocolate chips scattered throughout. Now - I normally prefer shaved chocolate, but this is good. There's a taste of lemon to the filling and Cinnamon to the shell. The powdered sugar was, surprisingly, a bit much. A quick 'tap-tap' took care of some of the excess. I have to say, if you are at all a fan on Cannoli - then go to Italy, or New York City and grab yourself one. If however, you are in Vermont and don't have the time or money - go to Juniors Italian in Colchester, VT. As much as I , a certified Cannoli non-connoisseur, liked these - they're sure to please the Cannoli lover in you.

Oh, and if you do go - the 'Meat lovers' pizza is the bomb! Great crust, loaded with amazing meats, and it's perfectly offset by a slice of tomoato basil pizza too. Just be prepared.. if you eat two slices, that means you will be very full when it's time to eat dessert. Or, eat the dessert first - it's always a way to insure you're not too full!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My all time favorite

Ok, you probably wonder what my favorite all time dessert is... well, it's (drum roll please) Tiramisu!

Yep, to me it's definitely the taste of heaven in your mouth. In fact, I stole that line from another website Heavenly Tiramisu which you should visit if you want to find their 'best ever' Tiramisu and, if you're daring, some great recipes for making the stuff on your own. If you do, don't skimp! Buy the freshest ingredients, and don't buy the store's brand of Mascarpone as you will regret it. It's actually relatively inexpensive to make an entire Tiramisu - when you look at the price per slice in a restaurant. I'm a bit of a Tiramisu purist as well. I don't eat mine with Caramel, brownies or multiple layers. That's not Tiramisu, though it might be tasty. If it doesn't have individual lady fingers at the bottom, mascarpone in the middle and chocolate dusted on the top - then it's not Tiramisu.

This recipe has some good advice, though I admit I haven't made it. One of the recipes I have made a few times is SUFO's Tiramisu. SUFO = Stand Up Flip Over. Now, I admit - my first few times - it didn't go so well.

Mistake #1 - I used soft lady fingers and let them soak.
Mistake #2 - I used a french press to make strong coffee, instead of espresso.
Mistake #3 - I used too much of a very dark rum, which overpowered the taste of the Tiramisu.
Mistake #4 - I let the Mascarpone get too warm - always, always keep it cold!

When you make Tiramisu - use hard ladyfingers and just touch them to the espresso/rum mixture. Just dip, flip, dip. Dip it in for about 1/2 to one second, flip it over and dip it again for another 1/2 to a second. That's it. Then drink the rum/coffee mixture if you want when you're done - Julia Child would... Actually if the rum tastes good when drinking, then it will taste good in the dessert - so be like Julia, sample - then adjust. Use a rum that's flavorful enough that you would drink it by itself. Something you would, or could, sip. You're not doing shots here (yet) so anything clear or highly flammable is out.

A note to anyone who has eaten Tiramisu from a supermarket or Chain Restaurant (like Olive Garden)- that's not really what I would call Tiramisu. Tiramisu is much more delicate and has much more of a custard type texture to it. If you want to taste a real Tiramisu - find the best Italian restaurant in your area, ask them if they make their own, and then try that. If you don't have one, look for one in a local gourmet store. If it says 'Tiramisu cake' it may not be the real thing, though it might be tasty! Oh - and never eat Tiramisu frozen - it's not meant to be eaten frozen and you will miss out on most of the flavor if you eat it that way.

Enjoy, or as the Italians say.. Enjoy. Something seems missing there - but then all the Italians I know are all like 5th generation Americans now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brain freeze

So what dessert do you eat on a hot summer night to fend off a hangover from all the beer you were drinking through the day? Well, if I were to guess, it would be Sorbet.

This is another dessert I suspect came from some 'Super Mega Food, Office Supply and Furniture Store'. Does that matter? Probably not. Was it tasty? Well... let's start from the beginning. The presentation of these were great. The different flavors were Mango, Coconut, Pineapple, Pina Coloada and Lemon. They all came in an appropriate fruit. The Mango in a half Mango, the Coconut in a coconut shell, Pineapple and Pina Colada in a pineapple and the Lemon in a lemon half. Great idea for presentation - but I don't think it worked in practice. Here's why. When I started eating the lemon, it was great, it was cold, but tart and sweet at the same time. As I got deeper into the sorbet, and closer to the rind of the lemon, it became bitter and much more sour. The sweetness was overwhelmed completely. If I didn't like lemon as much as I do - I probably would have tossed it.

I don't believe that was the case with the other flavors, though I would definitely wonder if the coconut shell affected the flavor of the coconut sorbet. I suppose it depends on how much of the coconut meat is left on the shell.

My advice, get sorbet, or better yet an italian ice like Luigi's. I've definitely had good luck with that. Now, in fairness, I do think that the food in it's own fruit is a great idea - *IF* you make it at home. If you have the time, it's very easy to make it yourself with this easy recipe. Just get large lemons!