Movies make it seem so romantic… the engagement ring sitting at the bottom of a sparkling flute of champagne. The engagement ring suspended in a dish of mousse. The engagement ring tucked into a crisp green salad. So what’s the problem? Unless you or your intended have fingers the size of tuba valves, most of the nibbles we take are larger than an engagement ring, making them difficult to locate in many dishes and, as Gourmet reminds us, a choking hazard.
When Carlos Lopes, former managing director at the Hotel Bel-Air, in Los Angeles, set out to propose to his first wife, he planned the evening to perfection. He selected a fine restaurant. He hatched an elaborate plan. He schemed with the maître d’. And, at the desired moment, the waiter brought Lopes’s girlfriend a crème brûlée into which the pastry chef had discreetly tucked Lopes’s life savings, in the form of a diamond ring. “Only I was so naïve,” he remembers today, “that I didn’t realize you ate crème brûlée with a large spoon and not a small one.”
Smash went the crust. In went the spoon. And before Lopes could say, “Um, I have something to ask you,” his brilliant-cut one-carat surprise went sliding down his intended’s throat.
Oopsie! I’ve always wondered who first came up with the idea of putting an engagement ring into food. If you adhere to the two months salary rule, that could very well be one expensive piece of bling, and the last thing most brides-to-be want to do is have to thoroughly clean their new jewelry before putting it on. Heck, my rings (engagement and otherwise) get dirty enough from sporadic everyday wear. I can’t imagine having to use an old toothbrush to scrub crème brûlée of all things out of the tines of a six-prong setting.
Or is that just me? What do you think — are engagement rings hidden in food the height of romance or the height of fail?