ChocapicNovember 10, 2006 at 12:41 pm | Posted in backstory, food | 13 Comments
On Monday night, I joined Robyn of The Girl Who Ate Everything for a long-anticipated tartare. Knowing how superior her photographic skills (not to mention her camera) are to mine, I decided to leave the digcam at home and let her worry over angle, lighting, and focus, while I contented myself with simply scarfing my food.
So, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys luscious photographs of steak tartare, canard aux pruneaux, mounds of french fries, oeuf a la neige, and a lovely poire belle helene, I heartily suggest you look here.
As for me… Well, it turns out that I am not 20 years old anymore, and my stomach lining is no longer made of steel. I enjoyed the meal very much, but it’s pretty rare that I eat dessert these days, much less two desserts (we shared). The upshot is, my body staged a full-on revolt, and I spent the next couple of days in bed, avoiding all rich and/or elaborate foodstuffs.
Which begs the question: what does a foodie eat when she is off her food?
At 3am on Tuesday morning, I vowed before God and man that I would never eat anything ever again. That resolution was short-lived, however, and by the following evening I had decided I could maybe manage a little cereal.
I’ve mentioned before that, due to the sour milk, the French are not too big on breakfast cereal. It does exist, however, and believe it or not, it actually tends more toward the sugary end of the spectrum than even American cereals.
As I lay in bed, trying to imagine what food my ravaged body might possibly be able to accept, I remembered something from childhood. Chocapic!
This was the only cereal we were ever offered when I was in summer camp, and it was considered a special treat. Normally, we received a veritable feast of coffee and hot chocolate, crusty baguettes, creamy-sweet butter, honey, jam, apple sauce, and assorted other delicacies. But I still remember the pandemonium on the day the chef de cuisine came out with a box of Chocapic: squeals of delight filled the air, and fifty chairs were pushed back as one as children scrambled to be the first to fill their bowls.
All this for some cereal? It was a mystery to me, but it wasn’t long before I, too, discovered the rich, chocolaty glory of the Chocapic. And this week, as my body rejected all the subtle, complex flavors this country has on offer, it turned out that Chocapic was the only thing that would do.
Or well, almost Chocapic. The real thing is, like most cereal, ridiculously overpriced, so I went with the off-brand:
Wheat-choco? Only in France would anyone consider the word “wheat” appropriate for marketing a chocolaty children’s cereal. I guess that’s why the generic brand is cheaper — they cut corners on their “appropriating American words in an effort to sound hip and appealing” class.
No matter — the substance was just as I remembered it.
Take note: this is no light and airy chocolate puff, a la choco-kripies or coco-puffs. This is the real deal — thick, heavy shards of chocolate, designed to maximize the density of chocolate in the bowl.
Stirring is necessary, or else the chocolate shards remain unpleasantly hard and unforgiving.
And when you’re done: chocolate milk!
Of course, I should note that real French kids don’t eat this cereal with cold milk — they dump it into their hot chocolate. Talk about decadence!
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.