Happy Monday, Anne!
I can’t believe you brought up fries! All I could think about were the Cajun fries from Five Guys, poutine and the “fry bar” in Le District in FiDi (NYC financial district). Yes, a fry bar. I did not have the chance to get over there yet and try it, but when I do, I’ll let you know if the hand-cut fries and array of dipping sauces make it worthwhile. I know some out there still believe the classic McDonald’s fries are all one really needs. Also, do you think the lure of hand-cut fry is still a hot selling/marketing point? I kind of am numb to that because I read it everywhere, and if they were truly hand-cut I think they would look more like mine— awkward thickness, a range of lengths and more flat and rectangular. Oh well, I promise to go before the month is out.
I can’t believe you brought up pies too! I was going to write to you about desserts, but that will have to wait until I clear my plate about pies. Did I ever tell you that I don’t think pies are desserts? I know, if I hadn’t already mentioned this tidbit, I wish I could be telling you this in person because it is very important. This is a face-to-face conversation to be had in the corner of a cafe with hot coffee and a sweet treat. We may need to Facebook Live or video chat or YouTube or something about what pie and desserts are in general.
Drumstick roll: I think pie is a breakfast food. Yes! I would rather be caught watching Saturday morning cartoons (Boomerang, what happened to you??) eating pie than cereal and milk.
Why have I decided to reclassify pie as a breakfast food equal to the the quintessential American bacon and eggs (which was a great PR stunt courtesy of Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays)? Well, let’s examine the ingredients. For pie you’ve got two main components: the filling and the crust. If you deconstruct that you get the filling—jam, spread or fruit and a carb—pastry or bread. Basically, pie is an American version of a European breakfast.
I don’t know if I have felt this strongly about food classification before, but food is an art and this is what it is evoking from me. I hadn’t really thought of myself as a foodie until recently. I actually talked about the three principles of food that I grew up with in my second Toastmasters speech “The making of a foodie and how you can be one too”. I do believe these three mantras helped me become the non-picky, adventurous and shrewd foodie I am today. I’ve also started to realize after scrutinizing pie that not all desserts are desserts.
I’m now trying to figure out what makes a sweet a dessert? I think a real dessert is velvety, luxurious and special. It’s a work of art—a delicately delicious bomb of flavors that are hard to reproduce. Desserts are eaten on special occasions and holidays. There is a mystery, magic and a whimsy to them. They transport you to somewhere you once knew or want to go. A dessert to me is an experience and a sweet treat is a fun, passing occurrence that is a lot of the times an unexpected or casual purchase.
Sweet treats are great on their own to cap off a beach day, but they don’t match the lasting power of a dessert. I am not transported back to my granny’s kitchen because she was serving ice cream. No, I remember the homemade anisette biscotti with a side of strawberries, sugar and Kahlua!
Sweet treats are pure fun—ice cream, cookies and cupcakes are great compliments to the every day. They are mobile and prevalent in many places. Sweet treats are great additions and garnishes to a dessert and perhaps paired together could be considered a dessert.
Whether sweet treats accent a dessert (pie á la mode) or are morphed into one (I’m still on the fence about you, ice cream sandwich with homemade cookies of course), a dessert evokes an intimate experience.
I have definitely walked down the boardwalk or sidewalk with an ice cream. But when have you walked down a road eating cake? Not too often. And if you’re eating a deep fried cake or cheesecake on a stick I would say that falls under the umbrella of a carnival/novelty food or sweet treat.
Are you wondering what has sparked my taste buds to distinguish such differences among desserts? Time to hop on the sweet treat train and I’ll take you to the hottest sweet treat that hit the Big Apple recently.
Ice cream that doesn’t melt
The confectionery concoction that has been making waves here in New York is the edible cookie batter from Cookie Do NYC.
Before walking into the colorful storefront after an hour wait, I got to try a few flavors and decided on Heavenly with its chocolate chunks, Nutella, caramel bits and sea salt. I got one scoop in a small cup. Maybe the best dessert decision of my 25 years so far. Holy guac! I was not expecting such a profound assault of sugar on my tongue’s buds. The great thing was that I didn’t have to eat that loaded sugar bomb all in one sitting. I actually could take the “do” with me and nibble on it throughout the day.
This cookie do concept being packaged like ice cream is great because I can save it for later and it wont melt…in a cup at least, but with “Do” in a cone you can also save it for later. That was what I loved about it. I didn’t particularly care for how sugary it was.
My friend and I couldn’t finish ours and we put it away in our bags for later as we putzed around the area. To me, it was a sugar overload and I was looking forward to tasting the Nutella, which I sadly couldn’t. I couldn’t even find swirls of hazelnut, which is what I had expected or taste a hint of the nut at all. I only have had that one flavor and haven’t been back since, but I’d go again for another novelty.
Does anyone know if they shape the batter into candy bars and then dip in chocolate? That I could get behind! I would imagine their candy wrapper packaging to be as colorful as the adorable mini mixers decorating the walls.
Enough of my drooling! I’m sure you, our lovely readers and my fingers need a break from my sugary sweet rambles.
Ciao for now,