Hand to Mouth

misadventures in eating

Archive for February 2009

Curious!

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I don’t often think about flavor profiles the way the pros do, but I can’t really avoid it when they slap me in the face by being surprising and utterly different.

In the billion years since I last posted here, I’ve moved from my (cozy) hovel in East Williamsburg into a nice walk-up in Queens, and an entirely new culinary world — read: not Italian — exploded with possibilities.  I live a stone’s throw away from a half-dozen excellent Greek restaurants and commendable Thai and some shockingly excellent Indian food — it’s an embarrassment of riches and it’s tragic that what finally got me posting here today was a greek filo desert — flavored with rose water.

Intellectually, I knew that before vanilla was easily obtained and in vogue rose water was a flavoring of choice, but my tongue has grown up with cheap imitation vanilla and the luxuriously good real stuff, in decadent ice creams and cakes, and although I have always hated the perfume-like head of vanilla when it is abused, the kiss of it on your tongue is irresistable and utterly familiar.

Rose water, on the other hand, tastes even more perfume-y.  Obviously, floral, almost plasticky to me, bottled and musty, but it had a coy, alien sweetness to it, and even though the first bite of the rolled baklava was arresting, I kept going back for more, trying to figure out whether or not I liked it.  Maybe it’s like a lot of things, I’m too startled by it to enjoy it, or maybe it’s just too late for me to love any baking flavor other than vanilla.

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Written by lshen

February 20, 2009 at 5:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized