Tuesday, October 23, 2007

bloody french tarts

You know the absolutely best thing about visiting France? It´s not the men, although they´re all apparently total stud-muffins in bed. Nor is it the weather, which was so shitty that we capitulated to the encroaching winter, gave up our campsite and moved into a chateau. This is the kind of surrender I like. One which comes with champagne and stuffed pheasants.

chateau gardens

you mean your chateau didn´t come with stuffed pheasant?

No, the best thing about France is the food. I´m sure you´re all going "Well, DERRR!" about now, but I´m not talking about the delicate palate of taste sensations bathed in creamy sauces and accompanied by quality wines and expensive bottled water. I´m talking about the ability to get yourself totally food-hammered for just a few Euro.

It´s happened before. I got so carried away that the French have these pre-determined menu´s for a cheaper price, that I didn´t stop to think about how much food it actually included. The aperitif. The hors doeuvres. Appetizer. Main. Dessert. Wine. Coffee. Chocolate.

You´d think that now, with the grace of a few more years wisdom, I would have learnt from my previous mistakes and kept myself under control. Scaled back a bit on the choice of courses. Held onto the memory of a swollen, painful stomach and an unsympathetic husband.

Of course I didn´t. Not only did I NOT scale down, I actively scaled up. Where all others chose the basic menu or an individual selection of courses, I allowed myself to be beguiled by the tempting offer of a dark chocolate tart for dessert. I skipped past basic and landed right in the Imperial menu, complete with a dozen oysters, pre-salted lamb and accompanying wines of choice.

By the time dessert appeared it was a frightening prospect even for those who´d kept their indulgence to a minimum. My dark chocolate tart, an hour in the making, sat on my plate teasing me with it´s chocolaty succulence. I fought for every mouth-watering mouthful, pausing only to temper its richness with a sip of Perrier and eventually succeeded. But lying in bed that night groaning I had to admit that it got the better of me. That tart totally kicked my arse.

this tart totally kicked my arse

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