June 15, 2009
The sweet bite of the finish
Hm, which to choose: a perfect, sweet, warm churro, or Christine?
There's an unmistakable look that any dastardly young man with a belle under his shoulder can attest to. Once the initial magic wears, once the fireworks wane, and once the reality of life sets in, amazingly it all gets better. Sure there are ways in which the plucky affection of two lovers garners both envy and admiration from the cynical and the wise, but as time goes on, two people learn from each other on a different level.
For Christine and I, it's this battle of what I eat. Nearly every day at about 1:26PM, after I've had a nice long lunch of something steaming hot, delicious, and probably unhealthy, I must report what I ate to Christine. Like clockwork she asks, not because she's annoying. Hardly - I ask her to be my accountability partner in this race to get me healthy once more. My BMI is scientifically, quantitatively within an unreasonable range. I will have to lose more pounds than my fingers and toes combined to get me close to where my doctor stops being concerned. After lunch, I sometimes resign to have eaten a cupcake or a cookie.
There's a problem with my palate, longing, an itch. After a slew of savory, tastes that whet the appetite, and settle it like a soothing hug, something very subtle clicks in my mind.
Sweet, luscious cake, cookie, yogurt, ice cream, nuts, candy, gum. No, I'm not Lamar Odom, whose sugary intermissions pepper every hour of the day (he purportedly wakes up in the middle of the night, downs some candy, and heads back to sleep). I just need something to tie it all together, to take off that last pucker and twinge that something salty affects upon your tongue. There's something so unsatisfactory about leaving a restaurant or finishing a meal without something so wonderfully sweet.
Italians and Koreans and Chinese know the drill, even at the most basic level. A tiny piece of cake, perhaps a biscotti, or a sugared shot of espresso. Asians love to end with a ripe, juicy piece of fruit whose bright complexion is as alluring as pretty gems. Then there's that hunch, that quest for even more sweet delight. I recall our meal at the French Laundry having a minimum of 15 different sweet devices to taper off the excellent meal. Even a substandard meal at the clubified Minx in Glendale (mere steps from my abode) afforded a trio of stellar desserts thanks to their pastry consultant (whose European name eludes me).
If any bakery that holds sweet pastries passes me after a meal, you will be sure that I will not only peer lustfully at the beautiful puffs of dough and glaze, I will follow my nose.
Then, the look. Near disappointment, I almost apologize. I most often fail.
I conceded today after our meal of burrito bowls at Fiona's apartment. She just HAD to remind us that she had pints of roasted corn and black truffle & maple from Scoops. Then, the look. I felt bad as I asked for simply one large spoonful of achingly delicious black truffle ice cream, containing a flavor that is too awesome for words. I savored it and let it quell the pangs of saccharine coming somewhere from inside.
It's so good, but is it worth continuing to disappoint the love of my life? They never said it was easy, or that there wasn't a cost to relationships. Of course, in retrospect it's all foolish. I'll just have to settle for the sweet toothpaste before heading to bed. At least I'll save on the dental bills, because in the end I still get the sweetest thing I could ask for: my love, my jujube.
Posted by mattatouille at 10:38 PM