Enough of the technical mumbo-jumbo. My brain is polluted with tensile strength, pseudoplasticity and thermo-reversibility. Time to find relief in some simplicity. Strawberries Romanoff should do the trick. This is one of those preparations you’ve probably seen on a menu but never tried. The hot and gooey death-by-chocolate puddings are always calling, aren’t they? I feel your pain.
I tasted this for the first time at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago (prime classic pastry and dessert territory, or at least it was in the 70’s). My grandmother took my twin sister and I there once a year or so for fancy grownup lunches. One year, I was maybe eight years old, I ventured off the tried-and-true path (the chocolate mousse) and veered into fruit. Our waiter was responsible. He was a distinguished 50-something fellow in a tuxedo who wore a waxed mustache and exuded refinement. As he recited the day’s dessert offerings he hesitated for the briefest of moments at the strawberries Romanoff. As he did so he cast me a knowing glance that seemed to say: children stuff their faces with chocolate mouse. Gentlemen order strawberries. I so desperately wanted to impress him that I ordered them. I didn’t regret it.
It’s been an odd strawberry year here. The early summer ones were candy apple red but not terribly sweet. The strawberries coming in now, by contrast, are perfect. This will go down nicely after a simple supper on a humid evening.