The Trouble with Beignets
We all have those special treats that we just can’t resist. No matter how much we try to block them from our mind, they continually seep back into our thought process. No, we just can’t shake the thought of indulging in those certain treats. Eventually we succumb to the guilty pleasure of that treat and once again indulge.
For awhile I hadn’t been overcome by the desire of a new treat. Sure there were the familiar old friends: the fast food craving of sliders, the big mac attack from time to time, the large strawberry-banana smoothie fixation, or that special crème filled frosting coated long john desire; just old friends that from time to time would reappear. But I really hadn’t come across any new treat fixations until, on a recent trip out of town, I encountered one such treat: beignets.
When I first saw them on a menu board, I didn’t know what they were. I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce them. As I learned quickly they were pronounced with a nasal “n” and a silent “t”, sort of like “beret” but with an “n”. They were local fare; and I immediately became intrigued. When you’re traveling you are supposed to check out the local fare; and so I decided to place an order of the sweet doughy sensation in a bag. That would begin my weeklong interaction/obsession with the doughy delights.
The problem with beignets is that you’re always chasing that first delectable laced memory moment; that first instant when you bit into one. That mixture of warm, no hot, dough surrounded by the powdered sugar that encases your mouth as you bite down. Each time that you start eating a beignet you want to compare your experience to the moment you first enjoyed the delicate flavors of one. Yet the experience is never the same. You try to compare: this beignet is warmer than that beignet; this order has more powdered sugar; that beignet was more fully coated with sugar; I had to shake the bag this time; the last time I opened the bag they were completely coated; or these beignets were colder than normal.
Each day when I ordered my beignets my mood was a little different. This added another layer to my beignet eating experience.
“How did I want to eat them today?” I’d ask myself.
Mouth over the bag breathing in the sweet dusty smell of the powder sugar and steamy dough like a horse with a feed bag. Or did I want to be messy today, and pull each beignet from the bag separately and let the splashes of powdered sugar cascade down the front of my shirt onto the floor in front of me as I slowly consumed each one.
Each morning and most afternoons I’d find myself at the counter placing an order.
“Could I have three Beignets, please.”
And the reply was always, “Do you want one order of three or three orders of three.”
I always hesitated each time I ordered, wondering if I should go with three orders of three; but ultimately I realized what made them so irresistible was the warm freshness that gave off a subtle sugary smell. There was a short window of time in which to enjoy their peak freshness. Also, in a strange way I enjoyed the feeling when I finished the order, of always wanting more. No, more at one sitting wasn’t necessarily better. That, and I knew I’d always be back for one more order.
No, the experience of eating a beignet is never the same. Yet still I try to compare, in my mind each eating attempt to the first time, no wait to the last time I ate one. Well, until my next beignet I will just have to try to remember the moment and settle for pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!