Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Enjoying the Strasbourg tarts

Our trip to Strasbourg over the weekend had everything going for it.

I’m deeply cynical about weather forecasts. The truest words I’ve heard recently on the subject were in the film Weather Man when Nicholas Cage, playing the forecaster of the title, points out that he actually has no idea what the weather’s going to be – it’s all guess work. So I was doubly delighted by the fact that the forecasters kept telling us the weather was going to turn lousy only for it to stay gloriously mild and sunny. Lovely to be able to enjoy the light and the heat, lovely to be able to see the forecasters exposed yet again.

Strasbourg is justly famous for its tarts. We took a great deal of pleasure from the type you eat: we had tartes flambées in the balmy evening warmth, outside a micro-brewery which also supplied us with some excellent beer, eloquently described by our host Mark. If you don’t know tarte flambée or Flammekueche as it’s called in dialect, it’s time you found out. Alsatian flat food to one English colleague of mine, Alsatian pizza to another, it’s worth the trip on its own.

Alsatian flat food: worth the trip

But like Pygmalion, I feel if you really want to enjoy a tart you should make one yourself. So, egged on by my wife Danielle and my hostess Amynah, I did just that. For the first time in my life, after decades of experience as a consumer of the things, I actually made my first apple tart.

And what a triumph it was. It was just like so many other apple tarts I’ve tasted.

A huge leap forward for me, an infinitesimal advance for mankind…

It’s amazing, isn’t it, how much pleasure one can take from doing something exactly like everyone else?

For more on the pleasures of our trip to Strasbourg, see our host Mark’s account, with its exemplary discretion and understatement:

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