Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Origin of Salty Pie And Other Upsetting Desserts

Once I was having coffee and dessert with friends at a bookstore cafe in Lexington, and they had some sort of irresistible-sounding berry pie on the menu. After taking a few bites, however, I passed it around to my friends, hoping to discern what was off about it. "I do declah," I finally noted, "this pie is salty!" I called the waitress over and asked her to remove it from my bill. When the check came around there was a deletion, with the clause "salty pie" typed in below the initial price.

Another time, I stopped with the same friends at a cafe in South Carolina after a harrowing PTSD return trip to Parris Island. We ordered cheesecake, and when it arrived we dug-in enthusiastically. After a bite or two, however, my friend Mo turns to me and asks if my tongue is numb. "Why yes, in fact, it is!" I replied. "Also, I think my cheesecake tastes like bleach!" Turns out, the cafe kept their cheesecake ON THE FLOOR of a walk-in refrigerator that had recently been mopped with bleach... and the fumes had saturated all of their desserts. My tongue was numb for hours after ingestion, and Mo didn't regain her sense of taste for days.

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