Friday, May 02, 2008

French chocolate muesli

Orangette knows what I'm talking about. Check out her recipe.

This cereal was the undoing of me. Even though, generally, I don't go for cereal in the mornings as it makes me feel full and milky and ill, I have a serious, tragic and incurable weakness for French chocolate muesli. Any time of day: for dinner, a midnight snack when getting home late, at the 3pm-starving-need-sweetness-hour.

It all began when I stepped into the local Carrefour and beheld the immense cereal aisle. Honestly, for a country that reckons it's all about a slice of baguette with jam and some coffee for breakfast, if anything at all, they are getting mighty Americanised in the breakfast cereal department. The cereal section was way, way bigger than anything I've seen in Australia, and there was SO MUCH variation. Not just wheat flakes, but about forty varieties of flavoured, shaped, vitamin-added wheat flakes. Not just sugary childrens' cereal shapes, but five hundred different colours, flavours, additives and so on. For proof, just check out this not-comprehensive selection of French chocolate cereal varieties. And that's just the chocolate ones.
I guess it also shows how insanely obsessed the French are with all things chocolate. Any time of day, anywhere.

Also look at this, from a country where bare-breasted women routinely appear in primetime TV ads for nonrelated products like tyres, yoghurt and natural gas suppliers.

Anyway, my default reaction to situations like this is to look closer: can I benefit from this immense cereal choice? Will this be the end of my aversion to cereal?

And lo and behold... there was the muesli section, taking up the final eighty metres of the cereal aisle. I scanned. Mine eyes lit up upon spying a box of Quaker Chocolate Cruesli. Little did I know that it was the beginning of the end.

Yes, I know that Quaker is not a French brand, but the Carrefour house brand makes a similar product. I've tried 'em all. Basically, the idea is for a super-crunchy, wheaty and nutty cluster muesli, fruitless, baked, most likely terribly bad for you, and enriched with little flat squares of dark chocolate that sometimes crumble apart when soaked in rich cold milk. What a sin it was, but I realised that if I was going to go to hell, then this was the way to go.

I ate that muesli for weeks on end. In handfuls straight from the box, for dinner when I was too lazy to cook, as an afternoon snack served in a little mini glass. Then I came back to Australia.

And it's not available here, thank God, otherwise I would be a 24-7 muesli-eating machine.

I guess it could be ordered online from somewhere, or I could use Orangette's recipe (above) to make my own, but perhaps it's best to remember the muesli fondly as being from another time and place. Sweet, sweet muesli memories!

1 comment:

JinYoung said...

wow. i totally agree with you. i'm in paris right now for a semester abroad, and the chocolate muesli from carrefour is AMAZING! i have been eating so much chocolate here. i think the only thing that's keeping me in shape is all the walking i have been doing. LOL.