On the nose, we got lemon treacle with a thin stream of melted dark chocolate included just to see if the master of the house would notice (he didn’t). There are also pine needles fashioned out of orange pith and used as a centerpiece for a large table (he didn’t notice that, either). We also found upside-down pineapple cake with a very browned bottom and topped with a hint of caramelized Szechuan pepper dabbed with a woman’s perfume and a man’s cologne (the servants had cast lots on which Master would prefer, but yet again, he didn’t notice).
The mouth offers prickly pear made into a piquant green curry (just for the staff, of course). There’s also chalk powder from Mrs. Bumbridge’s blackboard that she uses to lay out the courses and keep the staff on point. It fell upon the ginger donuts she had made for afternoon tea (and Master had been content believing they were coated in powdered sugar).
The finish is a low, seemingly never-ending roll of warming spice that doubles back on itself like Master’s favorite water feature in the garden (none of the staff can figure out his attraction to the crazy legs frog fountain). The sensation it leaves you with is that of microscopic pinpricks on the tongue, but in a soothing, wellbeing-inducing way: imagine a million nurses simultaneously administering vaccinations, and you’ll be close to the idea. This is something, unfortunately for the rest of us, our protagonist has not dreamt of, being centered only on his own indifferent life.
On the scale of examples of non-self-absorbed elites–
The Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old 2020 Special Release is Mckenzie Scott donating over $4 billion–most, if not all, of it with no restrictions attached–to food banks and other COVID relief funds–The combination of high-end and this kind of good is tough to beat.
–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!