Tiramisu has made quite an impression on me. It all started in July 1994 . . .
I had gone to a public relations society meeting in Chicago, and as usually happens at these things, we all went out to dinner together. As fate may have it, we went to Carlucci, an Italian restaurant on North Halsted Street. Food was very good, company was great. Fortune declared that I would sit next to the wife of one of my fellow PR professionals, who -- while perusing the menu after a heavy Italian meal -- noted that Tiramisu was offered.
"What's Tiramisu?" I asked, "I've kind of heard about it, but have no idea what it is."
"Order it. I make great Tiramisu, and I'll tell you if this one is good or not," she said.
"She's right. She makes the best Tiramisu I've ever eaten," her spouse chimed in.
"Okay," I agreed. "I'll order it and you can tell me how this restaurant's compares to yours."
And so it was destined that I would have the very first serving of Tiramisu in my entire life. When it arrived, I took a spoonful and shoved it rather indelicately into my mouth. The spoon froze there, as waves of wonder flooded my mouth. My eyelids drooped. The ambient sound in the room dropped a decibel or two. A tear crept slowly down my cheek. My focus blurred. My shoulders dropped, and my body relaxed completely. I couldn't feel my feet. I . . . oh, excuse me, I got carried away again.
"My God," I thought, "what if she says this particular Tiramisu DOESN'T measure up? If I ever tasted anything better than this, I'll have a coronary on the spot."
Gathering my composure, I turned to ask her what she thought. I had to speak to catch her attention. Her eyes were closed. I looked over at her husband. HIS eyes were closed.
"This is excellent," she whispered. "As good as mine."
"Well, from now on, I'll have to compare every other Tiramisu I eat to this one," I told her, then promptly announced to the rest of the people at my table that I fully intended to become a Tiramisu Gourmet.
As an aside, for your information, I've always felt that one shouldn't use the word "love" in relation to food. Remember the question: "Do you eat to live, or live to eat?" It always bothered me. So "love" was used sparingly in relation to food.
Except for Tiramisu. I love Tiramisu.
The Carlucci Tiramisu Recipe is now available on this website.
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