I don’t care how beautiful you think puffy piles of crystalline snow are. I don’t care about your cozy sweaters and your hot tea and your crackling fires. I don’t care about skiing or or parkas or that Scandinavian concept of Hygge that all the hipsters and wine moms have adopted. I don’t want anything to do with it. To me, as I’m sure you know, winter is a hellish misery of frozen doors and chilled fingers and darkness and eternal misery.
Picture it, Paris 2009, a cozy winter night, me in a vintage Dior suit, snow gently falling and making the streets glitter under the yellow streetlights. There I am in a highly regarded restaurant on Left Bank just a stone’s throw from Notre Dame. That evening would prove to be one of the most influential in my gastronomic life.
It came to me in a dream, a gastronomic fever dream. In my mind, whilst dying of what could have been the most severe headache in human history, I saw toasted corn tortillas stuffed with curried egg salad. Upon awakening and rejoining the living, my stomach lurched, and my legs propelled me into the kitchen. After downing about four liters of espresso, I began concocting my divinely inspired culinary creation.
I know that what I’m about to relate isn’t real, at least I don’t think it is, but I think that I myself am a plague on the nations I love most. For whatever bizarre reason, when I leave a place after a few weeks of being there and falling madly in love with the culture, a devastating earthquake seems to strike. I was in Turin, Italy last year when there was a minor earthquake that shook the buildings. It spilled some of my wine. Truly a traumatizing moment.
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