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Monday, February 18, 2019

Chocolate Obsession

Choice lines from coverage of Mast Chocolate, a Brooklyn-based cacao, bean-to-bar shoppe.

"About five years ago, I heard a Brooklyn butcher with an M.F.A. describe the look in his neighborhood as “country gentleman.” He meant: elaborately antiquated facial hair, tweed, monocle or pocket watch, top hat or hunting cap, somewhere on the spectrum between Willy Wonka and D. H. Lawrence’s gamekeeper. Probably this person was eating a home-brew pickle, on his way, via leather-handled bicycle, to try some fire-escape charcuterie paired with small-batch heirloom cider."

"The brothers Mast, Rick and Michael, are chocolate-makers as Wes Anderson might have written them."

"As the kings of craft chocolate, they were not humble. “I can affirm that we make the best chocolate in the world,” Rick Mast said, in an interview with Vanity Fair, last year."

"It has thrown into question not just the provenance of a chocolate bar, but the predilection for such goods, with perhaps larger implications for the picked-by-hand, farm-to-apartment movement, underscoring the fact that claims of homespun authenticity are not regulated, or often verified."

"When expert tasters bite into bars, they look to see if the chocolate is, in Yuh’s words, 'true to the bean.'"

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Continuing Garlic Investigations

My investigations the other day troubled me and made me melancholy.  Is garlic sweet, savory, both, or neither?

There are sweet things - nothing need happen for the sweetness to be apparent. Are there savory things which are savory in and of themselves? Beef you might say? But no! The beef will not taste savory unless heated, or without sodium. Same for anything else one can think of as savory. So we must conclude that sweetness can reside as a self-manifesting property that certain foods posses, whereas savoriness only obtains from a process, be it through heat or interaction with another substance. Considering the latter method, the second substance, for the same reason, cannot possess savoriness in and of itself, but only through interaction with the first substance, by which a reaction occurs, producing the quality of savoriness. 

To return to the matter at hand - garlic - it must be the case that although sweetness can exist as an inherent quality, and savoriness must always be through a process, there is at least one substance - that substance being garlic - in which sweetness is not inherent but obtains through a process, as well. And not only that, but this very same substance - garlic - can transform into both sweet or savory!  
Moral of the story: I want some garlic bread.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Garlic Investigations

Garlic is savory or sweet or both? Or it depends on what is done with it - if you roast and add honey for a spread it's sweet, and if you sautee with salt and olives for a tapenade it's savory? Adding an ingredient - salt, honey, sugar, etc. - is one thing, the mode of preparation - roasting, sauteing, frying, poaching, dehydration, etc. - another thing. And if we say the savory or sweet is within and either ingredients or preparation or a combination brings out the sweet or savory is there any real distinction here?

Monday, December 17, 2018

Obese Watermelon

Whose garlic this is, I think I know.
I taste the garlic within, all over the pommes puree
Spread like a nubile crocodile
The garlic flavor pervades.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Garlic Betrayal

I'm busy, you know
Work, drinks with clients, you know.
But I will make you a most marvelous stew
Of chicken and fresh garlic!
I eat the savory stew, alone, and it tastes good
But where are the bulbs of garlic?
Later you tell me you never used fresh garlic
But the dehydrated, powdered variety.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Chronicles of Fresh Garlic

'Twas a bitter cold December eve in Times Square.  People were getting off work, heading home.  Others were going to shows.  I walked past a pizza parlour and did a double take: "now what do we have here!?"  It looked like an old-fashioned New York City pizza parlour! Various of various shapes and colors lined the window.  I entered.  There was a fresh-looking pepperoni pie, and I ordered a slice.  And there was a grandma pie, too.  What is that brownish-greenish substance that appears to top the pizza, I wondered.  Could it be?  Only one way to find out: I ordered a slice.  The pepperoni slice was fine -- a decent enough iteration of a New York slice.  Then the grandma slice arrived.  I closely inspected the brownish-green concoction that topped the sauce and cheese.  Certainly there were herbs interspersed within the substance, but what was the bulk of this substance?  My instincts were correct: the pizza was drenched in fresh garlic!  Never have I seen so much chopped, fresh garlic on top of a pizza!  Perhaps there were some breadcrumbs, adding the brownish hue, but mostly garlic pervaded. I took a bite and my eyes rolled back into my head -- I was in fresh garlic heaven.*

West 46th Street
*In all honesty, the grandma slice had way too much garlic  - I don't recommend it

Monday, December 3, 2018

Poetry Corner


There is a 7/11 across the street.
They sell stroopwafels.
I imagine going
And buying 20 stroowafels
And eating all of the stroopwafels
Perhaps a tea or latte to go with them?