The End of an Eggra
It was about 25 years ago when this egg came into my
life. I was galumphing down 58th Street in Manhattan to visit a
friend when I noticed an unfamiliar shop purveying chocolate and bakery confections.
||My friend could wait. I entered. Among their
otherwise undistinguished wares, I discovered this speciality:
A genuine eggshell with chocolate inside.
Dig beal, you say?
Perhaps, but this was really, really good. And it was on
sale. Apparently the chocolate is a mixture with finely
ground hazelnuts and presumably made with a recipe unused by
others since it has a unique favor. On my return I
bought them all.
When they were gone, occasioned by a not-at-all mysterious
process, I importuned the shop to procure more, and I was
fortunate to obtain a "case." I husbanded them so
carefully that by the time this second lot was almost gone, I
discovered that the remanent few had suffered rodental
depredations. Worse, the shop itself had vanished.
||This was long before the internet had become commonly
available. I couldn't just type the name of the
manufacturer into Google and expect a list of local purveyors.
In fact, I exhausted the few leads I had from the packaging,
found no vendors, and let the matter rest for 15 years. (I
was able to find chocolate during the intervening period; I'm
resourceful in that respect.)
When suddenly! A
friend who remembered my fondness for the eggs sent me a
six-pack. It seems she found them at a small shop of
French imports and culinary goodies run by a friend of hers.
The Voiron eggs had resurfaced! With new clues from the
packaging and an internet search, I was able to locate the USA
distributor and ordered me a passel. (A big, big passel,
by the way. If they came in dollops instead, we'd be
talking many thousand.)
||Which would be the end of the story, were it not for a
mysterious bait-and-switch committed by the egg's USA
distributor. The first passel I ordered came in and was
duly consumed over the period of a year or so. When it
came time to replace it, I was told that "Due to the war in
Antarctica" the price had almost doubled. I pointed out
that Antarctica wasn't at war, and they explained that the eggs
came from France and that's all I needed to know. I waited
a year and asked again. The price had dropped and I placed my
order. But look what I received! No longer the
heraldic seal denoting centuries of confiseurial splendor, but
rather a gold-colored sticker denoting no more than that the hole was
sealed. Which would have been OK; I'm no sucker for
stickers. But the chocolate was different.
Not bad, but not as good, either.
I followed up with a correspondence, actually a
monorespondence since none of my emails or telephone calls were
returned. It seems my new passel was, willy-nilly, irrevocably
mine. And so, the egg with the sticker in the top panel is likely
the last one I will ever see or have, since they are no longer on
offer from the manufacturer's web site. I carefully saved the
from the most recent, non-anonymous batch as a reference.
Eventually it will succumb and that will be that.
The end, as I mentioned above, of an eggra. If you
had any idea how my paronomastic tendencies were tortured by writing
this, and by how many stupid egg puns my forbearance has saved you from
reading, you would immediately scavenge your local "maître-confiseur"
and send me a token of appreciation. No extra points for guessing
its desired composition.
NP: "Drilling Holes" - Marillion
(on Pandora, which seems to believe that Marillion has only five songs,
rather than hundreds.)