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Belle Hélène pears are one of my very favorite French desserts. Succulent just-ripe pears, simmered in a spicy-flavored light syrup, served with vanilla ice cream and topped with warm extra-dark chocolate sauce… What could be more perfect for fall ? Escoffier got it right when he invented this dessert, a tribute to the operetta La Belle Hélène.
When Jasmine Vegas steps onto the stage in Paris, she’s almost always armed with her shiny “suspender piano” (accordion), vintage cat-eye glasses, and maybe even a black panty-liner to match her black dress, as she once told a surprised audience when this short-lived feminine protection was first introduced onto the market. Just who is this provocative “Dada diva” ?