A crisp baked pastry shell. A thick yet smooth delectable filling of crème cheese, icing sugar and butter. And a topping of strawberries based in jam. I.E: heaven.
I used to cook a lot of desserts when I was younger, mostly with my brother. But honestly, its been about two years since I’ve made a dessert. Starting from scratch I was overwhelmed by the prescription of the recipe. I carefully measured the ingredients and followed the recipe to a T.
I’d lie if I said it didn’t challenge me. But, about half way through the process of kneading the pastry, something changed. The weight of the world seemed to melt away and I began to enjoy it. I even became more liberal with the measurements.
This dish is pretty nostalgic for me. I first tried it in year 11 during a French Study Tour. I remember walking through the streets of France and being amazed by a boulangerie that sold gigantic brioches, huge macaroons and the most amazing looking strawberry tart ever. Biting into that tart was an important moment for me. Sure it was delicious, but it also left a mark on a personal level. Fast forward to July 2015, and I returned to France, once again indulging in a strawberry tart.This dish is a ‘system of communication’ (Barthes) that reminds me of the wonder of exploration, of happiness, and the possibility of accomplishing the impossible.
Seeing people eat my dish at the food fair was pretty special. I guess I was hopeful it would bring them the same positive feelings that I experience with the dish.
But for me, it wasn’t the same. Eating isn’t just a sensory experience, but one of the mind and heart. And one that for me belongs to France.