The Duchess Bakery

I normally pride myself on my ability to eat pretty much anything that comes my way. Chinese chicken feet, Icelandic sheep’s eye, Colombian deep-fried ants…I’ve had them all. The ants weren’t actually that bad. They had a woody kind of flavour—a passable alternative to peanuts. But the Duchess Bakery really put my courage to the test.

“What’s that?” I asked, pointing at the display cabinet.

“Carrot and tape cake,” said the woman behind the counter.

“Tape?” I said, “not….”

“It’s made from carrots,” she explained, “and the kidneys of tape worms. They go into the fluffy white frosting round the outside.”

I paused for a moment. “Imagine that was your job—extracting the kidneys from tape worms!”

“Oh, there’s no need for that, it’s all mechanical these days.”

There was something reassuring about the way she said it, so I took the plunge: “I’ll take one, please.”

“Would you like horseradish with that as well?”

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