AJ’s Favorite Things October 2015

In 2006 Oprah announced her “favorite things” and millions of people (mostly women) went wild. If Oprah loves it, we’ve got to have it. Clearly I’m not Oprah. But I do experiment in the kitchen with alarming frequency and am always looking for interesting and out of the ordinary ingredients. This monthly column features my favorite food trends, gadgets, ingredients and restaurants in the hopes that you dear reader will be inspired to try something new in the kitchen. Check out previous lists here and here.


The Pegu Club

At one point the farthest outpost of government in the British Empire was the Secretariat in Rangon, (now called Yangon) Burma (now called Myanmar). Today it is a beautiful crumbling relic of red brick and yellow stone, empty after half a century of neglect. Not far from the Secretariat is another ramshackle building which is a shell of its former self: the Pegu Club. Once the social epicenter of the British colonial overlords, it is now completely falling apart. Esquire provides an excellent history of the club of and its legacy drink here. You can order a Pegu club almost anywhere in the world and I suggest you do. It’s a refreshing cocktail of gin, orange curacao, lime juice and bitters but perhaps the most authentic version is a few blocks away from the former Pegu Club in downtown Yangon at the Strand Hotel. The next time you’re about to order a gin and tonic, try a Pegu Club instead.

To_Ol_Gose_to_Hollywood_label_Liquorscan_1024x1024Gose Beer

This sour as fuck beer originally from Germany is likely to make your lips pucker. A strong pungent lemon flavor is overwhelming at first but after a few sips it becomes pleasant and refreshing. I’m late to the gose trend but it seems like this beer is popping up on taps all over Brooklyn. A particularly delicious gose is called “To Øl Gose To Hollywood” which you can find at Budin. It’s 3.8% alcohol by volume so drink it like orange juice.


Hand Coffee Grinder
Work hard for that cup of joe. These small machines take coffee making back to the basics, before all those fancy do dads called motors. Why subject your beans to a harsh machine death when you can slowly and gently break up their roasted goodness. For about $30 bucks these grinders are perfect for camping or for roommate situations when you’re up at 6:30, need coffee but don’t want to wake the sleeping beauties with your loud coffee grinding. I don’t think the taste is superior but the whole process is extremely satisfying.
Okay this isn’t anything new but Pierogies are the perfect fall food. Warm and satisfying and actually really good from the box frozen. Mrs. T’s anyone? Boiled potato and cheese pierogies with a side of sour cream and pickled cabbage is what I like to eat on chilly evenings especially after a cold or stomach bug (I get a lot of those because I eat weird food). I’m lucky to live a few blocks away from Brooklyn’s polish neighborhood so it’s pierogies for dinner all the time. Not bland, but somehow just simple and comforting to a mouth of worn out taste buds.

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