As the Accidental Locavore was writing about No. 9, it occurred to me that I’m a little fussy about desserts. First of all, savory foods interest me much more than sweets. A plate of cheese is my favorite dessert in France (and most of the rest of the world, if they can get it right). And there’s a whole category my friend Leslie refers to as “beige, toothless desserts,” or food that jiggles, that I can easily live without.
This includes all of what we Americans consider puddings: rice, tapioca, bread, etc. In the jiggly category, you can pile on: crème brûlée, flan, custards and Jello. In the French (but not cheese) area add isle flottante, oeufs a la neige. And finally in the cream section, toss in crème caramel, crème Anglaise, crème Chantilly (whipped cream — but it does sound better in French, n’est pas?). Another easy target for the list: Asian sweets. Not only are most of them almost unbearably sweet, but they almost all fall into the toothless category.
So, what rules? Chocolate, of course, but please don’t add anything to what is essentially a perfect product. That includes: chipotle, cayenne or coffee, to name a few recent villains (and white chocolate, besides being beige, isn’t even really chocolate, so fuggedaboutit).
Fruit, in season, especially when that season is summer, is sublime. I love peaches and apricots and really love them cooked! Pies, tarts, crumbles or even grilled, it’s really hard to mess up great fruit!
Almost anything frozen. Come on, is there anything better on a warm night than ice cream! I’m still a kid at heart, so walking down the street, eating an ice cream cone always brings a smile to my face. And it is the one of the few exceptions to the beige dessert rule (cheesecake being the other). Sorbets, gelatos, even the-trendy-last-summer ice pops, are all good.
And in the winter? Back to chocolate, possibly an apple pie (especially if it’s as good as my cousin’s caramel apple) or simply waiting for that first warm night and that anticipated bite of ice cream.