Named for things that please me (“me gusta” in Spanish) and rhymes with balabusta (Yiddish for “good homemaker”).

Least Favorite Food = Most Favorite Dessert?

The scene: Many years ago in a lovely restaurant in Paris. MyMEGusta was the luncheon  guest of some long forgotten person, and the other person was doing the ordering.

The horror: The dessert coming out was Oeufs a la Neige, a mysterious egg dish.

Many of myMEGusta’s readers know that her least favorite food is the chicken egg (being very clear that sturgeon and salmon eggs are an entirely different discussion). Don’t ask why, but it’s a loathe, not even a dislike.

Floating Island at Le Perigord

Floating Island at Le Perigord

And eggs were on the way, no escaping it.

But what arrived was phenomenal.

Floating Island aboard l'Austral

Floating Island aboard L’Austral

The eggs had been transmogrified into a puffy cloud of meringue perched atop a vanilla scented custard sauce known as “Crème Anglaise”, drizzled with some caramel.

The dish is known as “snow eggs” because the white meringue resembles a fluffy ball of snow. It’s also called Ile Flottante, or Floating Island.

You’ll find it today at traditional French restaurants such as Le Perigord Restaurant in New York City ( or check their Facebook page to see the Floating Island listed as a dessert on their special menu offered at this writing  through March 17, 2014),  and the best cruise ships, such as Compagnie Ponant’s L’Austral and the Seabourn Spirit.

Who could have imagined that this preparation could transform a least favorite food into a most favorite dessert?

If you were reading the New York Times on February 19, 1986, 28 years ago today, you would have stumbled upon the recipe for this time consuming but relatively easy miracle:

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3 thoughts on “Least Favorite Food = Most Favorite Dessert?

  1. kathleen perry on said:

    I’m drooling! I haven’t made Ile Flottant for ages but you’ve awakened a sleeping giant! The last time I had it was at Alain Ducasse and it was a savory version. I couldn’t believe how incredibly fabulous it was but can’t remember what herbs/spices were used or even if they were in the ile or the flottant or both. Have you ever enjoyed a savory version?

  2. Ann Stratte on said:

    Ile Flottante was one of the three things I had to prepare for my Premiere Diplome at Le a Cordon Bleu, Paris in 1977. Have not made it since, but I think I may do a reprise at a French inspired dinner party that I am having in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  3. Bea Crumbine on said:

    Dear Mary Ellen,

    You scored again, in my book!

    When we lived in the Philippines, we continually encountered Spanish food. The desserts were divine and one of them was Canonigo floating island. It was delicious and the maids taught me how to make it! That, along with leche flan, were always the childrens favorites!

    Thanks for the memories

    xo Bea

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