Mango, for me, is a quintessential summer flavor. Tart, sticky, and sweet, it is the fruity embodiment of the warmth and brightness of summer. Cloves, on the other hand, are darker, spicier, and deeply autumnal. The two together? Perfect for a warm summer evening in early March.
'cloves' on Serious Eats
A holiday tradition in the Vasios household is to decorate clementines by pressing whole cloves into the skin of the fruit. I've always loved the old-timey feel of this activity, as if Charles Dickens himself is going to pop into my dining room and say, "Carrie, my dear, stop being so stingy with those cloves. Who do you think you are, Ebeneezer Scrooge?"
If I had one week left to live, I'd have to devote a meal to a plate of French lentils. They have a flavor and bite lacking in the common supermarket variety, which too often melts into starchy mush. Not that this dish is much of a looker: It's olive drab lentils with brown sausage. The arugula, which you'd hope would add color, wilts down to puny green strands that snake through the bowl. But what it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in flavor, which packs a wallop. Cloves add sweet and spicy balance to the peppery arugula and mustard. Their flavor is there but not overwhelmingly so, exactly where it should be.
If you put all the sweet spices into a battle royal, clove would win every time. Cardamom would be afraid to break a nail. Allspice, usually a supporting player anyway, wouldn't stand a chance. Nutmeg, perhaps, would put up a fight, but its strength is so fleeting it'd tap out in the first ten minutes. Clove is definitely the brashest, bossiest spice you could put in your gingerbread.
This recipe was printed in January's issue of Esquire , where cocktail historian David Wondrich noted that Dickens was particularly fond of this variety of Bishop. It's easy to see why: it's not too difficult to prepare (assuming you don't mind baking an orange), it's thoroughly warming, and absolutely delicious.
As the temperature drops and New York's skies take on a dignified gray, we've put our window fans away and taken out our fall jackets. Summer may be on the way out, but making ice cream isn't. A new season...
A few weeks ago, Guerrilla Ice Cream (my mobile ice cream project) was approached by fashion designers Shipley & Halmos about doing a New York City-themed flavor for Fashion's Night Out, a city-wide fashion event taking place today. As a native New Yorker, I jumped at the chance to capture the flavor of the greatest city in the world in ice cream form. I decided on a deep, complex, and just-a-tad spicy Brown Ale and Buckwheat Honey Ice Cream, topped with roasted chestnuts (hat tip to the chestnut vendors of old New York) and apple chips (it is the Big Apple, after all).