Food Friday: Vanishing sweetness

Indignity Vol. 4, No. 60

Food Friday: Vanishing sweetness

Indignity Vol. 4, No. 60


Muji Pistachio Cacao Truffles bag folded over at top and kept closed with a bulldog clip

Food Friday: Muji Pistachio Cacao Truffles

HAVING LAID OUT the theory of how dissatisfaction and imperfection are the key to snacking, I now have to turn to an exception. I don't have a photo of an unopened bag of the Pistachio Cacao Truffles from Muji because somebody went ahead and opened this one before I got around to taking a picture, as well they should have, because the Pistachio Cacao Truffles are irresistible and perfect. 

Each truffle is a sort of cylinder or maybe a thimble shape, with one or two flat sides. Possibly they taper? Even in the package photo, it's hard to tell exactly what shape each one is supposed to be, or if they're all supposed to be the same, and the actual items are mashed out of whatever their ideal form was, thanks to a melting point right around room temperature. The package says they should be kept below 65 degrees, and if it gets too warm and stuffy indoors, they start getting liquid to the touch, so we keep them in the fridge to be safe. 

A dusting of cocoa keeps them from getting glued together, and means that when you pop one in your mouth, the first thing you experience is the taste of pure chocolate. Then the truffle starts to melt—swiftly and smoothly—and the taste of pistachio starts coming up, and up, and up. The chocolate is still there but against it is a pistachio flavor stronger and clearer than pistachio pudding, richer than premium pistachio gelato, a pistachio flavor borne along on the liquefying fats (not really cocoa butter, but a mix of coconut and palm kernel oils) with an intensity far beyond what you get from a mere pistachio nut, although as the pistachio-laced truffle material finishes dissolving there are, in fact, small but hearty bits of real pistachio nuts left behind to chew up and savor. 

Then you can eat another one, or not. Both options are equally good. One truffle is very satisfying. Two or three are also satisfying, without ever becoming sickening. You just decide how much of a good thing you want to have now, and how much you want to have later. 

Muji makes other truffle flavors, and they are equally excellent, on their own terms—the orange-peel version, in particular, becomes ever more complex as it goes, starting with a plain, pure orange flavor and layering increasingly baroque varieties of orange perfume on top of it. But the pistachio, specifically, puts every other pistachio treat to shame. And I like pistachio treats.

The mystery is how long I can keep having them. Muji is a singularly frustrating retailer because its mission is to produce the simple, Platonic essence of an item, but that doesn't mean it will keep on making and selling any particular one of those items. The ideal mechanical pencil or pocket notebook will appear and become a fixture of life and then disappear again—possibly for a season, possibly forever. For years and years Muji sold square, white hardbound blank books in a range of sizes, and I would pick some up and make books for my kids. Then one day the books were gone. I bought a wallet there, unadorned pale vegetable-tanned leather with no features except the ones I needed, and I was satisfied that I'd found the only kind of wallet I would ever need again. It developed a warm patina and eventually wore out, and when it did, it turned out they were only selling them in Singapore. 

When I went to look for the link to the pistachio truffles as I wrote this, they were missing from the website. The direct link led to a page saying they were unavailable; they were still for sale on the United Kingdom site. The United States did have the orange-peel ones, though.

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New York City, April 4, 2024

★★ The sun kept tentatively fading in and then fading out again, but in the afternoon it was finally fully there, its warmth incompatible with the cold air. It felt ridiculous to be wearing the parka in the flood of brightness, but by the wall of the Park a pigeon squatted on the ground with its feathers fluffed and its neck tucked in. Eleven starlings pecked at the grass where the lawn began at the foot of the Great Hill. Lines of mud traced the paths where unauthorized streams had been trying to form. A cardinal unwound its long, descending song over the steady peeping of a white-throated sparrow. Next to a tree, a cluster of chestnut-colored mushrooms had surfaced. The canopies of the big trees around the top of the hill were just coming in, sketched with chalk pastels. It was cold enough in the kitchen that spilled lamb fat solidified and glued down the paper towel meant to blot it up. 

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We're ironing out the wrinkles! It's getting easier! This first rectangle, below, is the podcast file right here on GHOST. This totally 100 percent works. You can just stay right here and click that sideways black triangle and listen to the podcast.

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This next rectangle delivers you to and 247 episodes of INDIGNITY MORNING PODCAST since the first episode, which aired on February 1st, 2023.

Indignity Morning Podcast No. 249: Baby steps.

Visit for the RSS thing and also Apple stuff! Let us know at if you encounter difficulties with the links. We're still trying to see what works, thank you for trying to listen! Podcast!

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A scale with a hand doing "thumbs up" gesture opposed by another hand also doing a "thumbs up" on the other side of the scale but weighing more even though they look the sameA scale with a hand doing "thumbs up" gesture opposed by another hand also doing a "thumbs up" on the other side of the scale but weighing more even though they look the same

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WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS in aid of the assembly of sandwiches from New Presentation of Cooking with Timed Recipes, by Auguste Gay with the collaboration of Anne Page. Published in 1924, and now in the Public Domain and available at for the delectation of all.

For each sandwich
2 slices of buttered bread
2 tablespoons of meat of cold, cooked lobster, chopped
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon vinegar

Cream the peanut butter and fold in the chopped lobster. Add the vinegar and mix well. Spread on both slices of bread, put together and press lightly.

For each sandwich
2 slices of buttered bread
2 tablespoons meat of cold boiled lobster, chopped
4 small cooked mushrooms
1 tablespoon mayonnaise sauce

Chop the mushrooms very fine and mix with the chopped lobster and mayonnaise sauce. Spread on both slices of bread, put together and press lightly.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, be sure to send a picture to 


The second printing of 19 FOLK TALES is now available for gift-giving and personal perusal! Sit in the strengthening sunshine with a breezy collection of stories, each of which is concise enough to read before the damp ground seeps through your blanket.

HMM WEEKLY MINI-ZINE, Subject: GAME SHOW, Joe MacLeod’s account of his Total Experience of a Journey Into Television, expanded from the original published account found here at Hmm DailyThe special MINI ZINE features other viewpoints related to an appearance on, at, and inside the teevee game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, available for purchase at SHOPULA.

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