Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Quest

I am not a huge “pastry person”. As you can guess, chocolate is my vice. But the first year I raced in Belgium (2004) I stumbled on this tasty little pastry. It didn’t look like it had special powers, but trust me, it was a little piece of heaven. A fresh pastry boat filled with sweet pudding and covered in chocolate. mmmmm. I am salivating already! Back then I didn’t have the will power I have now (are you choking?) so Norm, Corey and I would visit the bakery a couple of times a day and I devoured my fair share. Norm doesn’t usually keep tabs on my food intake but it got so bad the week before worlds he gingerly asked “do you think the other girls in your race are eating baked goods every day?” That day he felt the wrath that only a fat kid threatened of starving to death can dish out. Hell, I wasn’t sure if I would ever taste that sweet nectar again so, lardass or not, I had to take advantage of the situation. We left for France and it was years before I would find it again.

I told Bernard about my quest to taste the golden pastry again and he warned me that it might be a regional specialty. Lucky for me, I wasn’t weak for the regional specialty of Hertsberge because I could practically spit on the local bakery from my room at the Cycling Center. Besides, my inner devil had made a deal with my inner angel (after she had him in the choke hold) that I could eat Neahaus chocolate if I avoided the bakeries. BUT…..if I should locate the golden pastry this rule was void. 

The quest continued. I told Barb, Derek, Natasha, Nathan and Lesley so I had more eyes looking, but nothing. One month living in Belgium and still no golden pastry boat. I had been pretty good too. No baked goods. Well, except for that one break down on a freezing cold ride, 45 mins from home, big guts eating little guts…..my inner devil had used the Malachy Crunch to take that round. Tasty. But no golden pastry boat. 

After the Hoogerheide world cup we had a bit of time to kill on our drive down to Charleroi before our flight to Italy. Norm suggested we visit our buddy Frank from Ciclo Morello. In 2004, when the airlines lost Corey’s bike for the entire time we were in Europe, Frank lent him a bike so he could race. 

We popped by the shop and caught up with Frank. On our way out, Norm casually asked him where the best bakery in town was. I described to him what I was looking for “it’s a pastry boat, filled with sweet pudding, covered in chocolate…does that bakery sell it?” He looked at me like I was on crack and said “uhh. yes, you can find those everywhere.” BINGO. Regional specialty of Hoogstraten! 

We went to the bakery and I ordered five (kidding! only one. Ok, seriously, just two). Norm caught the whole thing on film. And then he asked me “was it everything you remembered?”. Actually it was MORE. The chocolate had HAZELNUTS in it!



7 comments:

erikv said...

Yum...how does that compare to a genuine Belgian chocolate waffle? I think those would be even better!

Anonymous said...

You crack me up!!!! My devil ate my angel ages ago ...

Rip it up this weekend and I am sure I can get Ceri to whip up those little treats for you :-)

Jaker

Biker Pete said...

One quest down! One to go... rainbow stripes. Go get'em Wendy, cheering from the rock.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with quick carbs. Like a cyclist is going to gain fat from those things?
What's the deal with the no baked goods policy here?

Skier in the Winter - Biker in the Off Season - John said...

Love the Blog. Too bad there are not more biker chicks like you. Gotta a twin?

As for the Pastry, remember this, chocolate is a basic food group AND in all seriousness, chocolate milk is considered to be one of the best recovery drinks...

See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/24/health/webmd/main1342839.shtml

bikesgonewild said...

...kick ass, canadian girl...

...signed:::a canuck ex-pat & friend of barb h...

Streeter said...

Wendy, Your performance in Belgium was fantastic. You are gorgeous; on and off the bike. I have a huge crush on you. (sorry I can't help it)I actually got to watch in person at Hoogerheide and get your picture after the race. I got weak in the knees asking you for a pose after the men's elite race. I'm sure you don't remember; but I wont soon forget. Keep up the good work! Congrats on the 7th place at Worlds. I didn't see you in Mol at Master's Worlds; wish I would have