Thursday, April 12, 2007

Merry Marie Belle!

I am no connoisseur at tasting chocolates compared to Chloé Doutre-Roussel, and though as we all know we should engage the 5 senses, I can't bear to engage the 5th test (to taste it!!!) on these Marie Belle chocolates! They are like small pieces of art, and it's the first chocolate I feel bad about imagining them melt in my mouth! Arghhhh... yet.... the smell of it lingers below my nose as I work on my laptop, continuing to entice.

I hope my pictures do them justice, as these little gems really are utmostly lovely to look at. Each flavour come with a different picture, most of which are French-flavoured and some others are retro prints. There seems to be little correlation between the print and flavour except the passion fruit flavoured, which is a silhouette of a kissing couple, but who cares about what makes sense when they all look so pretty!

C.M. did a big favour to help bring these back from NY, and asked me to try them, but I still can't give her a verdict on the taste. I am trying to stretch my utility by looking at them, and will put them in the fridge to keep fresh (though I hate to, because I am afraid of blooming). Silly as it may sound, I will only taste them close to their expiry date. "No! Please don't do that!" is a little voice at the back of my head. Chocolates taste BEST when fresh. Nothing beats fresh melt-in-the-mouth ganache. *dilemma*

The great thing about having chocolates in a box secured with ribbons (no sticker seal please), is that (I am going to sound very stupid)... is that... you can still keep the box, package it like how you had received it, and voila! it's brand new and it's easy to pretend you had not eaten them. I must sound like some psycho to you now, well, now that I had typed it out, I am starting to feel I am one. (*_*)

I will definitely hit the Marie Belle Cacao Bar when I have a chance. Friends who have visited said it's utterly French and pretty. I can't wait! Also a visit to Kee's Chocolates, Black Hound, Jacques Torres Chocolates are musts!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Gourmet luxurious bread

It's a pity the pecan roll was hungrily chewed up before it could make its way before the camera. I wanted to stop myself midway of the relishing moments, but it was hard (and not to mention unhygienic) to make a half eaten roll look good. I continued chewing, and chewing, and chewing. It's hard to tell you how much was packed in that portion of bread. Crusty, heavily-textured, moist, chewy (sorry I have to use this word again!) with a generous dose of pecans, flavoured lightly with cinnamon. Mmmmm..... Mmmm.... "Maison Kayser..." I looked at the paper bag and checked out their website. For those who can read French, you have more luck than me to check out their product lines and bread making stories.

I don't eat a lot of bread though I love them. There are loads of native carbos in Asia (and I do like them too) and great bread is not too accessible where I reside. And when you do feel like having a sandwich for lunch (and spot a cafe with good loaves) you could face some mild objections from friends/colleagues who have cravings for laksa, fish noodles (鱼片米粉)and many other local delights. Huh... "okie lor, chew kee chicken rice also can..." is an usual answer. I am not very picky on food, though I enjoy good food tremendously. I guess I don't qualify as a foodie do I? ^^

What a sidetrack. Back to the pecan roll. The reason why I am writing about it is because I found it exorbitantly priced. Though NTD 85 (SGD 3.90) did not burn a big hole in the pocket, I start to wonder why this bread (the size of 2 fists put together, about 9 cm in diameter) costs more than the usual, and why people were making a beeline for them. Most have an average of 4-5 rolls/loaves on their trays. It was more out of curiosity that motivated the purchase. Conclusion: I enjoyed the bread tremendously and I do think I would buy it again (probably the same flavour as I tend to eat the same good thing repeatedly) when I get a chance to go back. Probably only 1 roll though... ^^

What started out as a trip to the Dean & Deluca store in Taipei gave some other nice surprises. The French gourmet bakery and chic haven for food lovers are just side by side in basement 2 of Breeze Centre (微风广场)at No.39, Fu Hsing South Road Section 2.