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  • A Nostalgic Breakfast

    Now I am not saying that this is the healthiest breakfast in the world and am certainly not claiming it to be but sometimes, just sometimes, who cares?!  So I had a craving for marmalade this morning. It is not something I grew up with or need on a daily basis but rather associate it with trips to Ireland as a child. I'd say I eat it on toast about twice a year now, randomly when in hotels or a friend's house, so of course I had none in the kitchen and I went down to Waitrose and bought this little pot - I like the charming old fashioned labelling.  It's from La Vieja Fabrica and is proper aromatic sweet but tangy Seville orange marmalade at its finest.  Now I'm no marmalade connoisseur but if I was, I'd definitely agree with the smart people behind the Great Taste awards. When in doubt, their stickers on the outside are usually a good indicator of a good thing on the inside and this marmalade is no exception.  I then picked up a freshly baked baguette from Le Pain au Quotidien and the chocolate is thanks to my sister, who brought over a tablet of Lindt Excellence Dark Seasalt last week.


    So I set about the not so complicated preparation of this simple little breakfast by breaking off a piece of baguette and tearing it in half.  Popped the crustier half in the toaster for the marmalade and kept the fluffier side for two squares of chocolate (the dessert!).  My father always speaks of his excitement when he first went to France on an exchange and the host family offered him chocolate sandwiches for breakfast.  He had never seen such a thing!  And so, when we were children, particularly for picnics by the sea, he made it his duty to make us chocolate sandwiches from a baguette and a few squares of Cadbury's Bournville.  Even though I found this a strange combination of textures (wasn't Nutella so much easier?!) and the chocolate was so dark and not sweet enough and the mix of sea salt on my lips adding to the strangeness of it all, I eagerly ate these sandwiches.  It seemed so exotic - chocolate sandwiches from France and there was a great sense of sophistication to be savoured with this simple meal and the Irish wind blowing my hair all over the place!  Of course, when I went to France for the first time when I was 14 and discovered pain au chocolat was a different thing altogether and much more like a chocolate filled croissant, that was a whole new level!  They are still my greatest downfall and they catch me out all the time but to me, a piece of baguette and a couple of squares of dark chocolate, will always be  the best pain au chocolat.  And even in London, this particular chocolate with a touch of sea salt brings me back to those childhood days on Irish beaches, when France was but a dream away.



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