Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chestnut Honey

Yesterday in Dean and Deluca I browsed the honey shelf looking hopefully for chestnut. Nope. Then this evening I popped into the Deathstar because it's literally in front of my subway stop, and wanted to get honey for the Fage yoghurt I'd bought yesterday at Sahadi. And there, where I was least expecting it, was a fat, pretty jar of chestnut.

A long time ago, when I'd taken him a small dark jar of white protea honey from Cape Town, Emiliano Coppa of Al di La told me he loved honey, and said that chestnut was his favourite. I'd never tasted it. I've wanted to ever since.

Being Wholefoods, of course this honey is organic.

Here it sits on my favourite yoghurt. This stuff can make you fat fast. There is no point in getting the zero fat one. Just get the real thing once in a while and jog in circles every day.

So, dessert time rolls around.

I have already, early in the evening, dipped my finger in the honey and waited for the bitter taste Emiliano said would be there. About two seconds after it was on my tongue and swallowed it arrived. Deep, like a note below everything. Nice.

What I wasn't expecting, what quite arrested me as I was eating, what actually stopped me and made me stare at my bowl, was the scent. Not a smell. Scent. Suddenly I was somewhere else. Bad Lauchstadt in East Germany in 1995 in a cold, green and grey spring, with the chestnut trees all over town in blossom. I sniffed my spoon. Yes, it was there. My mouth tasted like air from Tolstoy's countryside and like flowers. The spoon smelled like it. The bowl was like a place, a memory, my flowers-underfoot dreams, but better, like all the lovely places I have imagined. With food, I have never experienced something quite as unexpected and intense as this.

And for the record, no, I am not drunk.


  1. Ok, I'm hooked. I'll exchange the best maple sugar for some chestnut honey. Deal?

    And for the record, neither am I.

  2. Oh you guys, you're scratching me, get a room.

  3. @the record: indeed !

    @Marie : like any parisienne, I'm supposed to be on diet. Your blog is the worse temptation.

    @Vince & Marie: coffee table book idea : ville + potager/garden + recettes selon l'ahtmosphère du jardin, de la ville.
    What to you think ??? I would buy it.


  4. Vince - you bring that male sugar, Ok? oops. I meant maple. I did!!!

    Dear Record: um...sorry.

    Brigit - thank you, the idea is simmering on the smallest back burner of my mind.


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