Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Two items tried: one winner, one loser
Recently, I did buy two things at the grocery store that I hadn't before: mascarpone and roasted chickpeas.
How is it that I never bought mascarpone before? I who have thrilled crowds of 75 and more with my tiramisu? The little secret is that I have never made it for a company dessert.
My tiramisu for a crowd is made with the finest espresso, heavy cream and chocolate money can buy, but the rest of it is strictly budget: Sara Lee spongecake, #10 can of vanilla pudding, big tub of sour cream and cream cheese. I always got lots of compliments.
In my mind, the difference in quality between mascarpone and cream cheese could hardly be worth the difference in price. But the price of cream cheese, even Philly, has gone up and the price of mascarpone isn't as dear as it used to be. I bought a tub.
What a revelation! I knew it might be a little sweeter than cream cheese, knowing its reputation as a dessert ingredient, but it's not sweet like in sugar sweet - it's sweet like in sweet cream sweet. Really, it tastes exactly like smooth, thick cream.
I spread it on some sourdough toast for breakfast and I smiled all day when I remembered how much I liked it.
The roasted chickpeas? Well, they were a bust. They looked good, like garbanzo beans, but when I popped one in my mouth and bit down, it tasted like a ball of lightly salted flour. Not a snack for me.