Finishing up my week of reflections on my recent Paris trip, I’d like to issue a warning: do not turn your back on the baklava. Trust me, you will not be happy if you do. Always bet on the baklava. Always.
For those who don’t know, baklava is a dessert made (at least primarily) of layers of filo pastry, chopped nuts, and honey (or other syrup). It is (if done right, as it can be done badly) really, really good.
My wife and I happen to love baklava. By the time I arrived in Paris, my wife had already established a regular baklava place. It was a small shop over in the Latin Quarter and was lined with windows comprising shelves and shelves of all kinds of assorted goodies.
Most importantly, they had some of the best baklava my wife and I have ever had. The pastry was flaky and crisp, there weren’t too many nuts (normally my wife won’t do desserts with nuts at all), and it was as gooey and sweet as anything I’ve ever tasted in my life. There is just no way to fully convey how wonderful this baklava was…and it was only something like a Euro fifty or so.
By the time I had arrived in Paris my wife had been to that shop over and over again…and she had only ever gotten the baklava. For a while we continued this custom, despite all the other wonderful looking desserts in the window. However, we kept talking about how we only ever got the baklava and really should try something else. Then we’d get the baklava again and things would continue.
Finally though, my wife tried something else. I thought she was going to pick this star-shaped thing that was so honeyed it was glossy, but she picked some chocolate biscuit thing. It was terrible.
I’m serious. It had a mild chocolate taste, but that was the only good thing about it. It was dry, teeth-chippingly hard, and wasn’t even very chocolatey. It was horrible and I never let my wife forget it. We went back to the baklava.
After forgetting the terror of the chocolate biscuit thing, we finally tried the star-shaped thing I thought my wife had picked the time before. My choice was better, as it wasn’t terrible. It was a different kind of pastry dough and was pretty sticky and tasty, but it wasn’t really anything to write home about. It was a better choice than the chocolate biscuit, but it wasn’t anywhere near as good as the baklava. After that, we stuck with baklava for the rest of our visit.
So, learn from our experience. Stick with the baklava. I know you will be tempted to turn your back on baklava and try something else, almost like you are missing out on life by not trying anything besides the baklava, but you are only fooling yourself. Your life is best lived repeatedly experiencing the baklava. Nothing else is worth it.