Black Forest Gateau

Food can sometimes be one big spoonful of nostalgia. All the flavours we have tasted over the years are stored upstairs, these play a large role in what are likes and dislikes are when we are older.

The look of a certain dish can visually stimulate you, but that familiar flavour is the thing that will really kick your memory banks into giving you a warm and cosy stimulation, the gushing flow of past and present feeding off each other, the sadness at something lost and the reward of finding it again. These things can be recreated in the kitchen. Cooking a traditional family meal perhaps will give you a little hit of nostalgia but for me a real fix of the good stuff, a taste of the unexpected, happened in a department store.

Department stores in general are  stale and stuffy, in keeping with a calm society.
A welcome break from the bright lights on the shop floor led me to the dark recess of the canteen. Lights low, no nudging, no sales clerks, time  perhaps to Indulge in a slightly chilled slice of cake. As usual, there is a variety of reluctant looking European classics, not particularly glistening in expectant aspirations of being eaten anytime soon.  Amongst the sad looking slices of Europe’s finest sat my memory sparkling BFG .

The Black Forest Gateau.

In my oblivious younger days a slice of the good stuff in a supermarket canteen with mum would raise spirits, succumbing to the layers of chocolate cake, filled with cherry and cream. Shaved chocolate on top providing a soft crunch. The coffee, ground nearby providing an aroma, an exterior taste included in the pleasure package.

You get older,  hanging out with your Mum at the supermarket just ain’t the thing to do. Girls and grip tape(if you get the reference, then well done) became a whole lot more important. You forget your first sweetheart, you move to the U.k., sometimes you see her in the frozen food section, sitting there with all the charm of a woolly mammoth. She’s just not the same, you move on.

The slice sat in front of me, the lingering scent of roast coffee completed my reduction into sensory a flashback  mind meld.  The decor similarly subdued, the clinking and metal on metal aural feedback provided a final plateau for the tasting of a piece of the past.

Oh she had changed for the better. Lighter on the Kirsch, over boozed kirsch cherries always  tainted my cake and this more conservative English varietal was a sublime revealing. Reunited after many years, hiding away in a department store no less. Alas this relationship was doomed to fail. The next time I headed downtown for a slice of BFG, it was nowhere to be found.  Gone back to the mainland, disappeared from these shores, not even a note as to where.

Research has been completed, co-ordinates cross checked.  It looks like I’m heading to Germany. Calling yourself Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte was a smart move but will only slow me down. I need another taste, another food memory.

“G.N.”

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