Wordtasting

There’s been enough grief and introspection on here to last me a while, lately. It’s eased, thankfully, but it’s still there, I’m just trying extremely hard not to think about it.

During that raw period of the first few Bowieless weeks, a little book dropped into my Kindle. One I had been looking forward so much that I’d pre-ordered it some time back.

The author, bless his heart, had unwittingly composed a tribute to our Mr Jones.

Written long before the news of his death came out, and with a release date that was also a coincidence, people catcalled, but they were wrong.

It was beautiful. And something that I think the man himself would have adored. (Read the book, you’ll know what I mean. No, really, do go read.)

Once I’d pulled myself together after the first few pages, I read with unseemly haste. I tend to do that, and then when I get to the end I go right back to the beginning again so that the words can be savoured and ingested even more fully.

I sped through, until I got to the part about wedding cake. Then I stopped short, and had to backtrack and read again.

I won’t say what the cake actually was, but after reading about it, then finishing the book, I realised a few days later that I had a craving for something.

I’ve found this happened after reading Joanne Harris’s Chocolat, too, and the subsequent books with Vianne.

It’s a bit of a problem. To explain, my name on Twitter is Wordtasting for a reason. I have a peculiar to me brand of synaesthesia. Many words have an associated food, or mouthfeel, or even a taste. So yes, Wordtasting is a thing that happens to me. It can get a little distracting if I let it, especially when others join in and start playing “What does this word taste of then?” with me.

These lovely authors’ use of language, and the descriptions of their foodstuffs are so incredibly good, that they awake both the very best of my imagination, and the synaesthesia sensations. It really is a double whammy when I read their pages. This isn’t technically a problem, until I try and sate the craving that started on, say, page 75.

I can’t. I just can’t.

Nothing in this physical world can match up to what I tasted in the cerebral one.

Ever since reading Chocolat, I think I have been subconsciously searching for those chocolates, those rich, smooth flavours that have such depth, such dark velvet hints and swirls of scent to them. I haven’t found any yet. Oh don’t get me wrong, I am very lucky in that I have been able to taste some extremely fine chocolates of late, but they just aren’t what my brain is looking for. Nothing I’ve eaten has hit the right spot. One almost did…almost…and at New Year I made myself a celebration hot chocolate with nothing in it but double cream, fine dark chocolate and apricot brandy. That at least sorted out the craving for hot chocolate! Thank heaven for that though never, ever will I drink another hot chocolate from the machine at work. It’s very good, but it’s not that.

I have resigned myself to the fact that the eating chocolate part is just not going to get resolved.

Thanks to Mr Wallace, now it’s moved on to include cake.

I am a member of the Cake Club at work, and oh my goodness there have been some amazing creations but none of them came close. One chap in our IT department brought in handmade cupcakes from Claridges. Would one of these be It?

If I’m honest, no. In fact, those came even further away from the tastes and textures I had held in my brain than our Cake Club offerings. It was a bit of a disappointment.

I suspect I am going to have to make my own, but oh my, I need to up my skills with sugar and flour and eggs.

I’ll be sure to report back if I find The One. Or the Two.

In the meantime, please do me a favour, and neither of you write about in detail about steak.

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(vegan cupcake courtesy of Jane Barnett.)
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