Alan Richman Does Love His Desserts

yonah schimmel

If Marcel Proust had been a New York JewPhoto: Lauren Klain Carton

Show me a man who believes his favorite desserts are those he has eaten as an adult, and Ill show you a man who had an unhappy childhood. Alan Richman gets grouchy now and again, but is there anybody working in the food media these days who flourishes so in long-essay form? His current opus for GQ, a ten-page summa on traditional desserts, should be required reading for all pastry chefs. Richman pays tribute to The Pigs Dinner sundae of his youth, the perfect pairing of Pepsi and Hydrox cookies, the dreamy quality of custard, and the underwhelming flavor (but sentimental value) of Yonah Schimmels knishes:

I dont want to be unfair, because the knishes at Yonah Schimmels are warm and fresh, which counts for a lot, and theyre famous, which means I could be wrong about not liking them. I had the cherry-cheese, which was cloying and reminded me of a throat lozenge. It was then that I realized that my fatherborn in 1915 and raised on the Lower East Sidewas returning to Yonah Schimmels because the knish was his madeleine.

My Sweet Life [GQ]