judge and jury
“well, Miranda, you’re a lawyer. you know, you can argue both sides of any case. but why we feel what we feel isn’t logical. its emotional,” said Sex and the City’s Carrie, as Miranda weighed up her future with her estranged husband.
wikipedia, says that a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. it occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical, usually opposite inversions of each other.
i decided to put both theories to the test: i baked biscuits.
there's a shop in Frieburg, Germany called Läderach. its a chocolate shop. not just any old chocolate shop mind you, but one that makes artisan chocolate in massive sheets which are broken into shards for you to take home and indulge in. Known as FrischSchoggi (or fresh chocolate), they come in flavours such as dark chocolate with pink pepper and strawberry, white chocolate with crushed raspberries and blackberries and dark chocolate with chilli, almond slivers and lime. i was lucky to receive several beautiful shards with their punk rock jagged edges and come-hither look.
of course, theres only one way to eat chocolate like this:
naked in bed, with soft, clean, white cotton sheets,
goosedown pillows and a feather blanket. no books. no tea. no distractions. just you and the chocolate in some glorious privileged silent communion. this is after all, charlie and the chocolate factory for grownups.
that was my first introduction to pink peppercorns with which i have had an unillustrated history. i’ve seen them around in those bottles of multi-coloured peppers, peeking through like a pretty lacy bra through a white shirt. i always thought of them as ‘fancy-pants peppers’. i like my pepper like i like my coffee: strong, hot and black (no relation to that other saying). The black pepper i use comes from my father’s organic garden, beaten by an unrelenting sun, unforgiving monsoon rains and cool sea breezes. after surviving all that, it is as peppery as pepper gets, making a statement and adding real oompah. pink peppercorns, the other hand i discovered, were not only beautiful to look at, but also had a quiet, piquant, bitter taste and a sweet fragrance when crushed.
i love white chocolate, always have, even as a kid. to all those naysayers out there who march the streets of chocolate-land proclaiming the sanctity of non-white chocolate, its chocolate. its good with strawberries, its good with macadamias, its even good as baci (stumbled upon in milan). on its own, its rather sweet and has a thick buttery texture and taste. as white chocolate biscuits they are rich and fulfilling.
some weeks after all this experimentation and revelation (and much chocolate-indulging), i woke up to
white chocolate and pink-peppercorns propositioning each other
in my head with the boldness of a pimp. its not the most natural pairing, especially in a biscuit. one can easily drown out the other and the balancing act is a fine one. but when you get it right, its unusual and for those with an experimental tooth, fascinating. on their own, these two ingredients are stunning. together, they are mouth-watering. but only for those brave enough to put aside logical incompatibility and embrace emotional harmony of the kind found in the best of marriages – you be you and ill be me and together we will be us but with you as you and me as me.
i gave in eventually and baked the biscuits, and boy, did those two have something to say to each other. they caused a minor existential crisis as they logically contradicted each other bite after bite, but remained supremely, unashamedly, emotionally moreish.
there was no point in trying to argue whether logic or emotion was guilty. i called it a mistrial and headed off to make a cup of tea and have another biscuit.