Sometimes even though you'd like to do something with someone else, it's easier to do the thing yourself, the "thing" in this case being "going to a bunch of places that sell food you've never tried before and eating the food." The drawback to this is consuming more calories than you would if you could share the food with someone else. You could wait until a friend is free or you can just go ahead and fatten yourself up in isolation.
You probably know which choice I made. I didn't have the advantage of toting around another human to taste things with me, so I went to a few places by myself that I shouldn't have gone to, of course, because most of the things I like to eat are the things I shouldn't be eating. Ignoring my worsening asthma (which seemed to kick in right when I started eating more wheat products; I assume they're related because it's not like I'd ever want something like that to happen), I've been going to bakeries alone, the one thing I really didn't want to do. But...but...
...I don't know. Living in NYC plus a lack of willpower is an especially bad combination; I did alright in New Jersey where delicious bakeries weren't as easily accessible.
Oh yes, so why did I venture outside the confines of my dorm room yesterday? I've been meaning to see The Future of Food for the past few weeks and when I found out it was ending on Tuesday, I figured, "Duh, I'm not really doing anything today. I should go." I don't see movies very often, hence I see movies alone even less often, but I figured I would make the movie-going into a little "culinary tourism" event. Just for myself. Because I'm greedy like that. Keeping in mind where the Film Forum was, I decided that with enough time I could walk to Chocolate Bar and Myers of Keswick before seeing the documentary.
Chocolate bars, chocolate cookies, chocolate pieces, chocolate drinks...a lot is packed into this small store. I'd want to eat everything if I didn't think it would kill me first. Perhaps it's a goal I can keep in mind over the rest of my life (and which can be applied to any other chocolate store/bakery); some people want to climb Mt. Everest, some people want to meet their idols and I want to eat everything with chocolate in it. Great, my life is officially pointless. (However, as I've already met my favorite music artist, I have to go in another direction with food.)
Coconut cream pie sounded most appealing out of all their retro flavored chocolate bars. Concept: good. Graphic design: pleasing. Chocolate bar: NOT ENOUGH FILLING! You can't tout the filling of a bar without putting in enough filling--that's just mean and shatters expectations. After biting into a piece, wouldn't you expect more filling than the thickness of a sheet of paper? Yes. ...okay, how about two pieces of paper? I thought the first piece I bit into was juts a fluke, but they were all like that. Maybe they do just mean to put in a hint of coconut cream pie taste, but I wanted more filling and less chocolate. The filling tasted fine, but it would've been better if there had been three times the quantity. While I had to admit not loving chocolate, I wasn't very crazy about the dark chocolate either. It wasn't bad, but maybe the filling made me bitter.
...despite that, I ate the whole bar. No, not in one sitting, but still! (sigh) I also bought an oatmeal cookie, which I enjoyed much more than the chocolate bar. While it was drier than I'd prefer (I like a moist cookie you can kind of pull apart), the spices were intense and better than any other oatmeal cookie I had ever tasted. (I've eaten a lot of oatmeal cookies, by the way.) Jacques Torres is missing an oatmeal cookie; he should do something about that. ;)
Not having walked around Greenwich Village very much, I roamed around confusedly, unsuccessfully trying to find Myers of Keswick. I ended up passing Corner Bistro and walking along Greenwich Ave, aka "going in the wrong direction". I remembered that Hudson Street is equvalent to 8th Avenue, until they branch off and Hudson becomes 9th Avenue and 8th Avenue emerges from the bowels of nothingness to screw up my direction.
Anyway, I guess I won't make that mistake again. I was also confused by Greenwich Street and Greenwich Ave since even though avenues tend to run north-south, Greenwich Street runs north-south and Greenwich Ave is more east-west. But whatever. The only way to not get lost is to get accustomed to the streets and walk a lot. And carry a map.
Of course, I could walk forever and not burn off much. That I'm not fatter than I already am surprises even some of my friends, besides myself, but I don't know how long I can rely on being able to fit into my fat gauging pants and not flipping out because I can't.
...uh, yeah. Where was I? Oh yes, onto Myers of Keswick. While I was there it seemed like half of the clientele was British, probably a good sign. The store has a deli case full of bangers (er, sausages) and meat pies, bins of crisps (er, potato chips), shelves of cookies and biscuits, containers of chocolate bars, cans of beans (you can't forget the beans), and...MCVITIES!
As low as my willpower is, even I know how crazy it would be to buy a pack of biscuits, crazy because I could easily eat the whole pack in two days, or one if I were insane. Sadly, no biscuit buying took place. I'd love to have a biscuit tasting party; buy every kind of British biscuit I can lay my hands on and figure out which ones are the best by...um. Eating lots of them.
Okay, let's stick that idea onto the "List of things Robyn Should Never Do." Right-o.
After reading an essay about cornish pasties in one of my classes, I decided that I HAD TO TRY ONE. So I did. I liked it; ground beef, some potatoes, peas and carrots, conveniently wrapped in a light, flaky crust. I ate it while sitting in nearby Abingdon Square Park, a tiny little triangle of greenery with some benches that is now my favorite place to munch on meat pastries. (Not that i hvae other places, but..um.)
Next time I visit Myers of Keswick, I want to try a scotch egg and another pie, or perhaps multiple pies. Hehe. Hehehehe. *rubs hands together while forgetting that I already eat too much* Hey, I'd love to share the food with anyone who wants to come with me!
Oh yeah, I saw the documentary at some point (er, after eating ground meat wrapped in wheat). It's a shame that The Future of Food doesn't have a wider release, as I think everyone could benefit from watching it. There aren't many issues that concern me (that probably should) but I think food is a huge issue that more people should be interested in. Yes, war sucks, but potentially messing up the country's/world's food supply is kinda bad too, yes? Most of us are disconnected with our food--where it comes from and how it's made--but we don't really want to know. I don't claim to be "one with the land" (um, I'd rather live in a concrete city than a place with lush nature and lakes and bunnies, not that there's anything wrong with those things) but I think I'd benefit from working on a farm for a while. Or I'd destroy a crop somehow. Hm.
Oh yeah, the documentary; what's it about? It focuses on the lax and twisted regulations on genetically modified crops that have originated in the US in order to--what else--gain control over the food supply and make lots and lots of money. It's a scary look at what could happen if most people remain uninformed about what the government is doing (or not doing; one portion of the documentary listed names of people who work in environmental and agricultural sectors of the government and used to, or continue to, work for Monsanto) in regards to food safety. I'd love to say more about the documentary but you're better off watching it yourself. It talks about the myth of genetically modified foods helping to end world hunger, how letting companies patent life (genes in seeds) is kind of A BAD IDEA, how Monsanto isn't respnsible for how the genes it creates end up in other people's crops (a comparison being that if your neighbor's dog were to mess up your lawn, your neighbor would be responsible for making sure his dog were properly caged in instead of you making sure your lawn were inaccessible to the dog, while in farmer's cases, they have to somehow make their fields inaccessible to wayward GM seeds and such things, which isn't possible and...do you see a problem here?), how GM food in America isn't labeled and thus ensures that possible health problems with GM foods can't be traced, annnnd other things.
Oops, that was a long sentence. Back to stuffing my face.
Today for lunch I ate a bowl of broccoli sauteed in sesame oil and seasoned with soy sauce. It was alright, but not at all satisfying. Of course, I didn't expect it to be satisfying, which is why I also ate a container of yogurt and some fruit.
But...still. My stomach was bored and wanted deathly wheat. Since I had to go out, I decided to stop by Bouley Bakery.
Alright, it wasn't exactly on the way, but it's not far from my dorm and it's one of those afforable indulgences. It's more expensive than other places--the chocolate viennoise was $2.40 and the brioche was $2.25--but it's not outrageous. The individual cakes and pastries are reasonably priced, usually around $5. Being the glutton I am, I got two things and ate both of them. I think the brioche wouldn't been better with the sugar crystal-thingers on top, but otherwise it was soft and whatever a brioche should taste like. The chocolate viennoise was good too, although I thought it'd be sweeter (not that I ever had one before) and I would've liked more chocolate. (Note to self: everythign could use more chocolate.)
Damn, this was long. Tomorrow I'm going to Zum Schneider to interview the owner about his wine list for my beverages class, you know, the one where I don't know anything about wine. I don't think I've ever walked as far as Avenue C so I hope there's some stuff there to entertain me as I walk around for Bavarian Biergarten fun.
...is anyone still reading this? If so, I'm very impressed! And I think I shall tag some people for the food and wine meme that I tried to do a few days ago: Lori at Dessert First and Janet at Escaping Words.