I was taught in my school that the meaning of Moose is – “Large northern deer with enormous flattened antlers in the male”. I was happy with my so called little knowledge and grown up into a Courteous lady who got married with a Qualified, Educated Brahmin Boy. Soon after our marriage, we had to travel to a dream destination where most of the people aspire to settle down. Young and novice in the Kitchen, I tried to expertise myself with whatever little skill I gathered till that age by watching the women of my family. The world of cuisine was then restricted to only two – Indian and Chinese. Who knows then that
Moose Mousse would embarrass me in this way.
The story begins then…
Newly wed couple, Mr.Pie and I, were happy in our own terms, started exploring the food culture of the new land by visiting different restaurants. The day was crystal clear to me. We went to a restaurant which served Italian and French cuisine. By the time, I was introduced to the world of Pastas partially and added it to my liking list. So without wasting much time, torturing our little brains with the teeth breaking names, we chose to retain the comfort zone and ordered Pasta. After the meal, we both had a sudden urge for some desserts. we grabbed the menu card and looked for what could tickle the taste bud.
Mr. Pie pointed his finger to a dessert and said “let’s have Mousse”.
“MOUSSE – the spelling is wrong here”, I confidently told to the man. And then added: “But how can one make a dessert out of Moose meat!!”
I puckered my eyebrows in disbelieve. I was pretty sure it couldn’t be a MOUSE (as how come one could eat a mouse !! Make sure I was then totally unaware of the fact that each and every little living object was edible to the human on this earth.) but MOOSE (the pronunciation completely matched). Mr. Pie looked at me with full of surprise then he started giggling silently. Called the waiter and ordered for a Chocolate Mousse. The dish was served. The presentation was too decadent and luring . But I restricted myself, by thinking, how much chocolate it might have I was not going to taste the Moose meat at any cost. The Man silently finished half of the container ignoring me and my blabbers, offered me to finish the rest. After insisting a lot, with a lot of hesitation, I scooped a spoonful and tasted a bit at the tip of the tongue. What did I taste!! I finished the rest in a minute without indulging in a second thought. Just to point out, Mr. Pie didn’t stop giggling even when we came out of the restaurant. He started teasing me that I had tasted Moose meat, how I was going to face the parents (as I belong to a conservative Brahmin family so as my in-laws).
Then two days passed away. After the daily chores, I relaxed on the couch, switched on the TV and started watching one of the Food Channels. “Chocolate Mousse” that was what Giada De Laurentiis was teaching. Again the spelling was wrongly written and to my surprise, I didn’t find any Moose meat in the recipe. After the show, my curious mind led me to browse the Moose / Mousse confusion through Google. I found Moose meant what I learnt in school. Then I typed Mousse and found:
“A mousse is a prepared food that incorporates air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture. It can range from light and fluffy to creamy and thick, depending on preparation techniques. A mousse may be sweet or savory.” (Wikipedia)
Good grief!!!! I blushed at the thought why Mr. Pie was giggling so much. I feel so ashamed at my ignorance and started laughing at my silliness. Then onward I become more conscious and make my mind more curious, to learn different food names/terms, origins and how to make them, just to make sure that in future I should not confront this kind of absurdity.
Mousse can be cooked as a sweet dish or a savoury dish. I have seen various dessert recipes on Mousse using different techniques. Some recipes call for adding egg yolks and then cook it with cream on a double boiler. Some call for whipping up egg whites and adding it. I choose the simplest method which can be done in few minutes. You just need two ingredients and here your mousse will be ready. You can add melted chocolate or coffee or some fruits or flavours. Since its the summer season so I picked up mango to make a sumptuous decadent Mango Mousse dessert. Enjoy the recipe below: