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China State Dinner Dessert - 1984: Pomegranate Sorbet with Lychees and Raspberries

China State Dinner Dessert - 1984: Pomegranate Sorbet with Lychees and Raspberries

Date of Work
1984
Medium
Photo
Credit
Collection of Roland Mesnier

China State Dinner Dessert - 1984: Pomegranate Sorbet with Lychees and Raspberries

"One of the most enjoyable and interesting parts of my job was researching the culture and food of an unfamiliar country in order to come up with something appropriate and pleasing to our foreign guests . . . It seemed that aside from melon and a few simple custards, the Chinese didn't really enjoy desserts at all! I reminded myself of all of the pictures of exotic fruits I had seen not only in the cookbooks but in the art books I had paged through. Pomegranates and lychees were all represented, so I decided to focus on these fruits. I'd made a pomegranate sorbet with fresh lychees, mixing in some raspberries for color and garnishing the dessert with sabayon, a French sauce that could add richness to the fruit.

Once I determined the components of the dessert, I had to come up with a beautiful and original way to present them. Two images from my research—the phoenix and the small boat known as a junk—had captured my imagination. I'd make a junk out of sugar to hold the dessert, and a phoenix to garnish it." - Exerpt from "A Sweet World of White House Desserts" by Roland Mesnier

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