Chantilly Wars
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Chantilly Wars

A new war is raging in France these days.  For once, it has nothing to do with the Germans, the English, the Huns, or the Vikings.  No, instead, the opponent is one of the most prevalent figures to be found in France.  And the battlefield?  My stomach.

It is not rare for those who grow (slightly) older to develop intolerance to lactose.  Really, it’s not that I have become intolerant.  Lactose has just become more aggressive, I believe. All of the sudden, the dairy aisle has a way of making my stomach turn.  In a country who boasts a cheese for nearly every day of the year, the odds are stacked against me.  It’s not my fault.  I didn’t start this war.
The chateau at Chantilly...

Now it’s not all bad.  Certain cheeses and yogurts are not off limits, but my beloved ice cream and crème fraiche have turned into demons that can quickly turn the tastiest of meals into the most painful of regrets.  I have only two defenses in this matter.  First, I can give up on dairy altogether and be done with it.

Yeah, right.

Or, two, I can rely on my new best friend, the Lactaid pill.  It seems that no trip to, well, anywhere is complete with my wallet, my keys, and one or two individually wrapped tablets that my mother sent me a few weeks ago.  Most recently, no where has Lactaid been as indispensible as it was during a trip to Chantilly – home to the famous whipped cream.

The chateau of Chantilly is about an hour outside of Paris in the Picardie region.  A humble castle and garden inspired features at the not-so-humble chateau of Versailles.  Most notably, Marie Antoinette asked her hubby Louis XVI for her own little hamlet based off the quaint hameau at Chantilly.  It was here in the outdoor restaurant of the hamlet that I tested my good friend Lactaid.


For dessert we hate strawberries with Chantilly – fresh sweetened whipped cream.  We also had spiced cake with Chantilly.  And of course strawberry sorbet – again, with Chantilly.  All of that cream in the middle of a sunny June afternoon while touring the chateau seemed like a bad idea, but I trusted my little Lactaid buddy.  Would we win the war together?

Poison...the enemy...
Well after lunch, all was going well.  My Chantilly-filled colleague and I toured the gardens.  Things were fine.  Then we checked out the chapel of the chateau.  Still, Lactaid was waging the good war.  Then we walked through the Condé museum.  All clear.  Then we made it to the library, a miniature version of the Beast’s gift to Belle in the Disney film, and, well, it seemed that Lactaid and I had won the war.

The Hameau...the battlefield...
I thought I was in the clear until we walked back to the car as the museum was closing.  My stomach felt fantastic and everything was going great until someone suggested we get ice cream before the hour-long car ride home.  At this point, my stomach turned upside down.  I imagined the remaining medication in my stomach was jumping up and down warning me not to do it.  I heeded the warning and steered clear of the ice cream and went right for the car.

Bryan, one point.

Dairy products, zero.

Bring it. 

1 comment:

  1. How could anyone have wanted ice cream after the whipped cream? It's SO right! Glad you were wise, Bry. I loved Chantilly- like a little oasis 25 minutes from Paris!

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