Throughout my life, I’ve been fairly consistent in listing the three things I don’t eat. They are, in no particular order: popcorn, candied fruit, and Shepherd’s Pie.
In the case of Shepherd’s Pie, it’s a bit bewildering as I do enjoy its ingredients separately – ground beef, mashed potatoes, corn – but there’s something about the sum of its parts that trigger my gag reflex whenever. Popcorn is just bland – annoyingly so – with those little bits that always get stuck in your teeth. And then there’s candied fruit. Do I even need to explain why that’s on the list?
“I know you don’t eat popcorn,”said Robert Cooper, “but this stuff is great. I can’t stop eating it.”
I was, of course, dubious. Chicago Mix? A caramel corn and cheddar cheese combination? Urgh. It sounded terrible but, just for a lark, I decided to try a couple, popping one of each kernel into my mouth. My initial reaction: “Weird, but not bad.” And then: “Actually, kind of interesting.” And then: “Help me! I can’t stop!” Five minutes later, I was shoving fistfuls into my mouth while pleading with Ivon Bartok to hide the bag.
Chicago Mix popcorn is the Devil’s snack!
Joining this list of Foods-I’ll-Just-Keep-Eating-Until-They’re-Finished-Or-Taken-Away:
An avowed chocolate snob, I love my Amedei Chuaos and Porclenas, Pralus Papouasies, and Patrick Roger’s pralinés – but nutella always takes me back to my youth. I can eat it straight out of the jar or, preferably, on a bowl of Haagen-Dazs french vanilla.
I discovered Hattendo Cream Buns in the Akihabara subway station in Tokyo a couple of years back. The ultra-soft buns are served chilled and stuffed with a variety of creams – from matcha to chocolate. I can’t eat just one! Any doubt to the relative guilt-inducing prospects of this delicious dessert should be dispelled by the following photo of me eating one:
I bet you couldn’t envision a more guilty-looking eater.
The last time my sister visited Vancouver, she brought me a tin of kouign-amman from Patisserie au Kouign Amann on Mont Royal East. I could barely pronounce the name but one bite of the butter and sugar-infused layered puff pastry with its crunchy caramelized crust and top, and I was hooked. I’ve had other versions but none come close to these. Thank goodness they’re located on the other side of the country.
If you’re ever out to dinner with me and see a chocolate chip skillet cookie a la mode on the menu, you can be damn sure I’ll be ordering it – with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream because the ice cream to cookie ratio is always off. There was a burger place in Toronto that used to serve them and I used to love the place, suffering through the mediocre burgers just to get to the dessert.
And you? What’s your culinary Kryptonite? Your Devil’s snack?