The last time I had French crepes


FrenchCrepes

The year 2008, cold February evening, marveling at the architectural wonder, Eiffel tower…holding on to the jacket tightly, enjoying the pattering rain…pulling the right hand out of the warm glove I had the sizzling hot…just off the pan French crepe…savoring the bite of crepe, licking the chocolate off my lips….

A naïve Indian girl on her first trip outside her homeland, wondering at everything, learning every moment, mesmerized…exploring new things, dream filled eyes. ..struggling with the French language and the accent.

Now….the year 2013…it is raining heavily…drove from a farm, made a sudden decision to stop by at the village inn…Over a cup of coffee…French crepes with strawberries and cream ….sitting by the window, watching the rain…having a bit of the crepe…….wondering at how much it has all changed…..Life, the world…ME….A transformed me…

The incredible journey…This is a like a pause….I reflect back on that moment when in front of the Eiffel tower having French crepes….assuming everything and everyone is good…I had a smile playing on my lips…. 🙂

Now I smile at all those events that transpired over the last few years that brought in change, huge waves of changes…a lot of them. The assumptions that were proved wrong, the perceived realities that turned in to illusions, new found definitions of words, new meanings of beliefs and notions, myths that busted, concepts that crumbled, thoughts and behavior that humbled…hopes and dreams that tumbled…

Negative people who came in to my little world and left,people who shattered my dreams, people who filled me with hope and courage, people who made me stronger, friends who were there for me through ups and downs, trials and tribulations…the glorious moments of joy and fun filled days, unstoppable tears filled with despair and gloomy days and nights of nightmares..
Another bite of French crepe…..brings me back to the present moment. The delicacy, aroma, softness, fluffiness, reveling at the elegance of the moment I smile. I close my eyes with gratitude ..to be able to remember the last time I had French crepes and smile. Yes, the smile has not changed….and never will. 🙂

🙂 Vimala Paran

Life long love affair with chocolate


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

“Yummy”, “delicious”, feels like heaven”, “Incredible”, “Irresistible”……..mouth watering….taste, feel, flavour, aroma of chocolate. It is an interesting subject in itself – “what a piece of exquisite chocolate does to your senses”. Absolutely loveable, adorable……There is passion in every word I talk about chocolate. The taste of chocolate lingers in your mouth for a while and makes you want more.

The way chocolate lightens up your mood or brightens up your day is incomparable to anything else. Just a mention of the word chocolate is delightful and make your eyes sparkle….already running wild imagining the ecstasy of the world of chocolate.

As a child I was very intrigued by the creativity aspect of chocolate, the different designs, varieties, shapes, flavors etc…The more I explored about chocolate the more I fell in love with it. The intimacy that developed was interwoven with a kind of mysticism which encouraged me to try more chocolate.

My best friend shared a dialogue between mom and daughter –

      Mom: How does chocolate melt?

      Daughter: Chocolate melts like melting Moments

We often live our lives saving and storing chocolate (our special moments) for later and then end up missing them!

It is a delightful experience in itself to indulge oneself in tasting varieties of chocolate delicacies:  Fudges, Chocolate mousse cakes, brownies, chocolate candies, Chocolate milk shakes, chocolate ice-creams, chocolate chip cookies, truffles, pralines chocolates with different fillings (fruits, rum,), Wine infused chocolate, exquisite liquid center chocolates (spirited chocolates, coffee chocolates, fruit nectar chocolates), …the list goes on.

 There are also chocolate covered popcorn, pretzels, chocolate branded cherries, very berry chocolate bark, chocolate dipped kiwi fruit, orange peel, glaceed apricots in chocolate…try and revel in the new chocolate experience.

 Whether it is an individual having chocolate product or gifting it to dear ones, it feels incredible. A chocolate savvy person like me would love to become a chocolate connoisseur one fine day. It has been my dream to study – Chocolate engineering course and graduate as a chocolate professional.

I have had opportunities to visit chocolate factories in many parts of the world. Sometimes I took the guided tours and sometimes I went through the different sections of processing plant, blending, conching, tempering, packaging, storage, naming, labelling etc. My experiences during the visits range from that of sheer surprise and wonder to shocks and revelations. There lies a different world, chocolate world where everything is defined by chocolate, tastes, smells and breathes chocolate and takes your breath away by the creativity and innovation it offers. I feel a little crazy to make my chocolate confessions to the world through this article but aren’t we all crazy when it comes to chocolate?

Some of the chocolate brands from around the world are Côte-d’Or, Jacques, Leonidas, Marcolini, Neuhaus, Colombian Santander Chocolate, Luker, Mars,Godiva, Ghirardelli, Cailler, Toblerone, Ovomaltine, Villars, Lindt, Camille Bloch, Cadburys, Nestlé….

Some are very specific to their specialities – I will take the pleasure to name a few here

  •        Guylian Belgian chocolate sea shells
  •        Auer, for les traditionnels (truffes, pavés glacés)
  •        Hautlé, for les palais d’or et les glaces maisons
  •        Chocolaterie Du Rhône, for les cacaos origines et ganaches de saisons
  •        Berger, for les ganaches
  •        Micheli, for les chocolats aux meilleurs produits naturels
  •        Pascoët, for le prix du meilleur chocolatier mondial
  •        Hershey’s kisses
  •        Lucienne’s  Biscotti and Dark Gourmet Chocolates
  •        Ferrero Rocher by Italian chocolatier Ferrero SpA.
  •        Cadbury’s Dairy milk bars
  •        Russian Korkunov chocolate bars
  •        Lotte’s Sasha Chocolate Goldleaf
  •        Storck’s Toffifee
  •        Hawaiian Wow Wee Candy Bar
  •        Cavalier’s Woodies

The list seems to be unending…I m unstoppable when the topic is about chocolate, savouring every bit(drop or bite) of it. Hope you savoured and relished reading it too. Do you feel a sweet tingling sensation in your taste buds?…Go get a chocolate bar and have it now.

Visit to a chocolate factory, not the Willy Wonka one… though I have visited Willy Wonka chocolate factory many times in my chocolaty dreams.