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Obsessions of The Sweet Kind

August 08, 2007


You see this? I have a confession to make. I’ve consumed exactly seven of these matcha parfaits for La Palme D’Or since June. I don’t know what it is about these parfaits that make me crave them the way I do, because there are a ton of other good desserts in Hawaii. The first time I had the matcha parfait, it was shared between two friends. And then second time it was shared with my mom and sister. And the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh time, I had no intention of sharing with anyone. I must have gotten greedy somewhere along the way.

I first noticed the matcha parfait (sitting along the chocolate and strawberry parfait) at the beginning of summer. I like food in cups. I like vertically stacked foods (as long as it’s not difficult to eat). And I love, love cream and cake and truffles and macarons!! You see, the parfaits are not created to be dessert of their own, like the custard puffs, cocoa-hazelnut cakes and Japanese cheesecakes. They’re made of the leftovers. The broken. The unusable. I’m sure there are a good number of cakes and desserts that are broken, have toppled over. Or maybe there’s an excess of cream, and crumbled macarons. All the rejects get together and are magically assembled into clear plastic cups and lined up next to the pretty desserts in the glass case waiting for some ignorant fool to fork over $3.50 in exchange for the parfait. I happen to be one of the ignorant fools.

The first four times I had the parfait, it was always a fun surprise. Once I found dice-sized cubes of dark chocolate ganache mingling with a vanilla sponge cake and custard. On another occasion, I dug into shards of white chocolate with little pink hearts piped into the surface of the chocolate.

But on the fifth, sixth, and seventh occasion something changed. The parfaits were uniform. There were no longer any surprises. The exact items that appear in parfait #5, were found in #6 and #7! No random walnuts floating in the cream. No nibble of cheesecake or cube of strawberry gelatin. Essentially, the parfait came to be its’ own dessert. It was no longer a vehicle for smashed in leftovers. I suppose somewhere along the way the demand for these parfaits increased to the point where the bake shop found it profitable to turn the dessert of mishmash into something fit for regular production. Cakes were baked and matcha creams whipped specifically for this dessert alone.

Nowadays if you walk into La Palme D’Or and you order the matcha parfait, you will find layers of chocolate cake, matcha cream, dark chocolate ganache, a lot more cream, and a matcha macaron pressed nicely on the top. The element of surprise is completely gone.

A part of me was sad, cause I really like surprises. Especially good surprises. But another part of me was happy. I like to think my excessive patronage of the parfait contributed in a small way to moving it up from the bottom of the social dessert ladder to become a creation of its own.

Oh. One more thing. I would actually suggest sharing this dessert. (Note that I don’t necessary practice what I preach). The parfaits are fantastic when you are limited to maybe 10 bites. But when you eat alone and you eat 30 bites it gets boring. And the excess of cream will make you sick. Are you curious about the chocolate and strawberry parfaits? Sorry I can’t help you there. I’ve only had the matcha parfait. Seven times.

La Palme D’Or

Ala Moana Center Mall Level Mauka

1450 Ala Moana Blvd #2240F

Honolulu, HI 96814

(808) 941-6161

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