Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The dessert truck

For the better part of the last year, I've been reading with interest articles about dessert trucks. I've wondered: fad or wave of the future? Delicious or just novel? And also: why not on my block, why not in my town? Would a dessert truck work in Berkeley, or do people want seats with their sweets?

When I was researching things to do in New York, I looked up a few dessert trucks but then gave up trying to pinpoint them, figuring there was no way to plan a meeting with so little time available, it would just either happen or not. And frankly, I didn't hold out much hope.

But, just as afternoon was starting to give way to dusk, we crossed a street, either tired (me), thirsty (Riba), or in need of a pee stop (Alexis), and it was there, just sitting on the corner, bathed in delicious aromas and ready to make my dream come true.

Riba and Alexis made fun of me after the fact, because apparently I saw it, made a sharp turn towards it and said "Dessert truck. We're eating more," and then got in line. Riba and Alexis, as you know by this point, take declarations like that seriously, so they got in line too and we started discussing our options. Panna Cotta? Bread pudding? Most things seemed a little dense and warm for the humidity still in the air, but god, it smelled so good, so we ended up sharing a chocolate bread pudding with creme anglaise.

Even before the first bite, I was totally won over by the novelty. Handing over $5 in exchange for a hot foil ramekin heavy with dense chocolate and warmed sauce? A fine moment of commerce. The bread pudding was good, but tasted more like a dense custard than a bread pudding. I expect more variety in textures in my bread pudding, but as a warm chocolate dessert, it was rather good. Even though I always think I like creme anglaise, when it comes down to it, I think the taste is rather dull, but the variety was nice and it made the bread pudding look pretty. If I was making this, I'd swap it out for a creme fraiche sauce or a marscapone sabayon, or, if there were some way to make it not too sweet, a white chocolate and bourbon sauce of some kind.

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