Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy, Happy, Zing, Zing!

I was in New York City several months ago and had a dish of perfectly seared sea scallops on top of a spring pea puree that were dusted with Piment d'Espelette. It was love at first bite! Since then, I have been looking for the same palate fix. It's interesting how I become fixated on ingredients and then how they suddenly start to appear in my life. Such is the power of attraction.
Months had past since my foodgasm in New York City and I had been thinking and lusting for this red powder. I was going into withdrawals. So on my recent trip to Paris, I was surprised and elated. I had come to the right place. I couldn't get enough of incredible culinary creations finished with a sprinkle of the red spicy pepper dust.
Let me explain to you what I'm talking about. Espelette pepper has been exclusively grown in the Basque region of France since the 1600s. It is filled with mysterious flavors, at once spicy and smoky but at the same time slightly sweet and delicate. The pepper's heat appears in the back of the mouth adding the element of unexpected surprise, rounding out and heightening the experience.
So with that said,it's time to close your eyes and imagine tasting a simple egg, fried in the most luxurious Normandy butter served over chanterelle mushrooms, topped with red fairy dust.... Yes, I did roll my eyes back and take a moment for myself.
Now , savor the most voluptuous chestnut soup with thin slices of foie gras hiding in the bowl. With every mouthful, the Food Gods would sing... Happy, happy, zing , zing!
I even went as far as having Espelette ice cream... Yes, crushed pink peppercorns and hazelnuts wrapped in sweet smooth iced cream and topped with spice of love.
Ok, you can open your eyes and know that there is a heaven on earth. I'm pretty sure God is a gourmet.

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