There’s a wonderful new pleasure trend called “Amuse Bouche” that’s spreading through culinary circles. Maybe it’s more accurate to say the trend is new to me. Amuse bouche literally means “happy mouth” and refers to one perfect little taste of something special. I first heard about this fun new thing through the amazing Julia R Barrett, who knows her food. Amuse bouche showcases miniature confections and canapés presented as exquisite little bursts of beauty and flavor. Its food as art and sensual experience. I find this trend breathtakingly exciting because the kid in me loves miniature anything and wants the opportunity to taste a little bit of absolutely everything and with amuse bouche I can have it all. The only thing that could make me happier than a stunningly presented porcelain tea saucer filled with teeny tiny chocolate desserts would be sharing those desserts with a purple miniature pony wearing a tiny hat…The kid in me is getting excited just thinking about it.
Its not just food. The good news is the amuse bouche aesthetic is spreading to literature. This week I found two new lovely stories that could easily fit in the bowl of an elegant silver spoon. Each provided a flash of bright color, strong distinct flavors and just as the sensual thrills were peaking, it was over—but that wasn’t a bad thing. In fact after reading these short stories I was left feeling perfectly satisfied, and my mind was on fire.
I told Julia I wouldn’t mention her new release in today’s blog but I have to…
“The Artist” is a prefect example of a literary amuse bouche! It’s only 8 pages long for crying out loud, but it packs a punch and every paragraph is memorable. Reading it felt like a forbidden peek into a secret diary. “The Artist” is a rich burst of flavor in a tiny bite.
The second gem and I do mean gem, is Tessie Bradford’s “Matt’s Return”. This too is short fiction but the story is so concentrated and smoking hot that I got the full picture of a couple who love each other deeply, but have spent three years of their lives apart and must now reconnect and move forward. Tessie Bradford excels at painting brief, bright character studies. I was moved by how much story she packed into this cameo-sized portrait of two lovers who belong together.
It would be cruel not to give you a little taste, so here it is. Matt McLeod is a hunky 6’4” (Not everything in today’s blog is small) undercover cop working to bust international drug lords. He is captured, beaten and held against his will for years. During his escape he’s badly injured. It’s his memories and intentions to get home to Molly that keep him alive. After being away from Molly for nearly three years guess what he wants to do first with all those pent up emotions? Yeap, you’re right and I loved every page of it. This gem is spicy.
It was my intention to review both these lovely stories for today’s blog but I soon discovered I couldn’t do it. I was afraid I would ruin the experience for the reader who should (I feel) just be bold, put the spoon in their mouth and enjoy a little taste of something different. These stories are priced inexpensively and quick to read but they provide a very pleasant experience. So go ahead and treat yourself to a beautiful miniature confection.
Tessie Bradford’s “Matt Return” is available today from Resplendence Press.
Julia R Barrett, “The Artist”