On Saturday I returned to visit my nemesis’ chocolate shop.
L. was also present. Mind you, this had nothing to do with the fact that we had just eaten lunch together a few doors down and were on our way to the park. No, his presence was strategic: while I will admit that I am stalking and in fact trying to seduce and/or destroy Paul A. Young, I don’t want him to infer from my almost-daily visits that I have a crush on him.
As it turns out, the strategy wasn’t necessary, as once again my nemesis took no notice of me. He offered L. and me hot chocolates, but there was no flicker of recognition in his eye as he handed me the tiny ceramic cup expertly filled—not one drop on the sides!—with his hot brew.
His assistant threw a plate of brownies in front of our face and beseeched us to try them with Paul’s magical mix. And wow. What Brownies. Paul A. Young doesn’t just do the dark truffle the way the dark truffle wants to be done. He does the brownie the way the brownie is screaming to be prepared.
But while Mr. Young may know the contours of the cocoa bean, he clearly doesn’t know his way around the ladies. In fact, my nemesis paid me absolutely no attention until he saw me position myself in front of his fresh chocolate counter, point to the various chocolates on display and say to L., “I think I’ve tried all of these already, right?”
“Oh, but you couldn’t have tried them all!” the evil chocolate maker screeched, swooping in from his chocolate perch to sweep his hand across the display case in a professional, “behold! the merchandise!” gesture.
“There are new ones every day!! Have you tried the Chili?!? The lemon? How about the Stilton?!?” (What about the crack cocaine?!? Speedball?!? X?!?)
“Stilton? I’m afraid I don’t know what that is,” I mumbled.
“It’s cheese,” Paul and L. said in unison, both looking at me with more than a little suspicion.
I didn’t really want to eat chocolate cheese, but I just couldn’t afford to lose face in front of my red-headed nemesis. So for a staggering £1.50, I chose the Stilton.
…And guess what. It was more or less like you'd expect. Very creamy and smooth, but in the end, who wants to eat cheese when she orders chocolate? Strike 1 for my nemesis’ attempt at world chocolate domination!
Which leads me to this bold statement, and what I hope you will agree is a second strike for the man I must sedustroy: Paul A. Young is little more than a lucky hack.
But this is a new revelation. You see, last week, before the Stilton Incident, Mr. Young conceived of an unexpected chocolate pairing that shook me to the very core of my chocolate foundation: what appeared to be an innocuous bar of 60% cacao was in fact, at first taste, reminiscent of those salt licks one gives to pet rabbits and guinea pigs. (Don’t tell me you never dared to try one before handing it over to Mr. Floppy Ears. Everyone should try that at least once in his/her life. Dry dog biscuits, too.) Anyway, after that initial subtle, but nevertheless shocking sensation, the salty taste gave way to pure chocolate ecstasy. Incredible.
I related this experience to The Maclamity, who was not impressed. “So basically,” he said, “this chocolate nemesis of yours goes into the supermarket and says ‘let’s try this and this and this' and he just keeps trying out combinations until something works. 'Salt? Why not? Jam? Why not?'”
Stilton cheese? Why not?
The Maclamity was right. Paul A. Young is not a genius but rather a methodical chocolate experimenter. He’s no different from the rest of us who open the empty fridge and try to figure out how to make pasta marinara from noodles and ketchup.
...It’s just that he gets to use very expensive Antillean ketchup.
Nemesis: 2 Strikes
Me: 1 Strike (Stilton cheese stupidity)
Conclusion: Closer to destroying Paul A. Young than to seducing him.
Categories: chocolate, nemesis, evil, cheese,