Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bar Review: Criterion

I've followed Ben Fletcher's moves pretty closely ever since he helped open up Surf Club in 2011.  Now a co-owner of Criterion (opened 2014), Ben has held fast to his own vision of good beer and the results are coming in.  Often characterized as "weird, hoppy, and flavored", his buying selections at first were a little too weird for me.  Because it is easy to disguise bad or mediocre craft beer with a high ABV, a small pour (8-10oz), and a selected fruit (or chocolate, or coffee), those buyers that tend to want to try the newest can sometimes fall prey to stuff that just doesn't come off the back of the palate with any actual intensity.  But now a full year out from opening, Ben and the bar seem to have found their stride, and the drafts mix a great variety of international, local, and seasonal, with price ranges from $3-$10 for every sized wallet.  Being across the street from the Bakery, I always look forward to the next thing that Ben puts up on the big chalkboard, because I'm sure it's going to be something worth talking about.

Monday, September 14, 2015

On Henry Perry, the Originator of Kansas City Barbeque circa 1908

"He was the greatest barbeque man in the world," [Arthur] Bryant said, "but he was a mean outfit." Perry used to enjoy watching his customers take their first bite of a sauce that he made too hot for any human being to eat without eight or ten years of working up to it.  What Bryant said about Henry Perry, the master, only corroborated my theory that a good barbeque man is likely to tend toward the sullen--a theory I had felt wilting a bit in the face of Bryant's friendliness.  (A man who tends briskets over a hickory fire all night, I figure, is bound to stir up some dark thoughts by morning.)

From American Fried by Calvin Trillin

Hunt Street Market Wrapup

I am pleased to announce our Customer of the Week! Erik and his son Soren.  Erik and Soren live in Durham and enjoy baking Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Brownies together at home.  After they’ve cleaned up the kitchen they are fond of spending time at The North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Durham Bulls games, and Soren’s favorite slide at Mt. Merrill.  Soren’s favorite item at our stand is the blueberry muffin.  I sent these gentlemen home with a loaf of our Chocolate Babka on the house.

The sky threatened rain again this weekend, but we, luckily stayed cool and dry.  The first hour of the day was slow, though refreshing.  It gave us time to get organized and catch up with our market neighbors.  

Before heading down to the market I got to work alongside Joel this week for more donut training.  Together we made Cocoa/Coconut, Curry, Cinnamon/Cardamon, Sugar and Old Fashioned Cake Style Donuts.  Joel made the Brioche donuts; tossed them with sugar and filled them with Vietnamese Coffee Custard.
The big hit of the week was our Round Challah.  We had two varieties on hand, with and without raisins.   

Samples for tasting this week included:  Vegan Cranberry Chocolate Chip Hand Pie, Double Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie and Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars.

I’m looking forward to next Saturday.  Weather Forecasters are promising a high of 87 with sunshine!  Comment below if you know what “National Day” will be celebrated next Saturday, September 19th!  


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Hunt Street Farmer's Market Wrapup

Despite dark skies and momentary bouts of mist, we had another fabulous turn out at the Hunt Street Market once again. 

As the calendar ticks forward into autumn, I’m hearing more and more requests for PUMPKIN.  This week we sold out of our Pumpkin Muffins and Vegan/Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars quite early.  Customers also delighted over the Vegan Salted Chocolate Hand Pies, Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, and Bear Claws.

Joel fried up Chocolate/Coconut, Cinnamon/Cardamom, Curry, Sugar and Old Fashioned Cake Style Donuts.  Additionally he fried and filled the Brioche Donuts with Christmas Cream.  Unfilled Brioche Donuts were also available with Vietnamese Coffee Dipping Sauce. 

Samples for tasting included: Chocolate Babka, Vegan Thai Curry Hand pies, and Cranberry Scone.

I’m very excited to announce our Customer of the Week!  Pictured below is Joe R. of Durham.  Joe is a General Manager for a company in the RTP, in his free time he enjoys, eating at Ninth Street Bakery, going to the Farmer’s Market, golfing and spending time with his family.  Joe’s favorite items from Ninth Street Bakery are our cream filled doughnuts.  Joe explained to me that, “They remind me of the Homemade Cannoli my Mom and Aunt Ann used to make when I was a boy, growing up outside of Pittsburgh.”  We sent Joe and his Daughter, Karen home with a free loaf of our Chocolate Babka.

I hope to see you and your Grandma & Grandpa out at the Market next Saturday in celebration of National Grandparents Day!  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Taxonomy of Mouthfeel

  • Cohesiveness: Degree to which the sample deforms before rupturing when biting with molars.
  • Density: Compactness of cross section of the sample after biting completely through with the molars.
  • Dryness: Degree to which the sample feels dry in the mouth.
  • Fracturability: Force with which the sample crumbles, cracks or shatters. Fracturability encompasses crumbliness, crispiness, crunchiness and brittleness.
  • Graininess: Degree to which a sample contains small grainy particles.
  • Gumminess: Energy required to disintegrate a semi-solid food to a state ready for swallowing.
  • Hardness: Force required to deform the product to given distance, i.e., force to compress between molars, bite through with incisors, compress between tongue and palate.
  • Heaviness: Weight of product perceived when first placed on tongue.
  • Moisture absorption: Amount of saliva absorbed by product.
  • Moisture release: Amount of wetness/juiciness released from sample.
  • Mouthcoating: Type and degree of coating in the mouth after mastication (for example, fat/oil).
  • Roughness: Degree of abrasiveness of product's surface perceived by the tongue.
  • Slipperiness: Degree to which the product slides over the tongue.
  • Smoothness: Absence of any particles, lumps, bumps, etc., in the product.
  • Uniformity: Degree to which the sample is even throughout; homogeneity.
  • Uniformity of Bite: Evenness of force through bite.
  • Uniformity of Chew: Degree to which the chewing characteristics of the product are even throughout mastication.
  • Viscosity: Force required to draw a liquid from a spoon over the tongue.
  • Wetness: Amount of moisture perceived on product's surface.