The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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The Ullage Group Kitchen: Chestnut Honey

June 2nd, 2010 · 4 Comments

A few members of the Ullage Group convened this week to experiment with another foodstuff unfamiliar to the dominant American culture.  The subject was chestnut honey: an Italian varietal markedly darker, earthier, and less sweet than the common domestics.  The participants in the study were Doug Skinner, Dr. Mamie Caton, and her associates Susan and Michelle.

A preliminary taste confirmed the complex flavor of the subject; the team particularly enjoyed its subdued sweetness and bitter undertones.  The following traditional recipe was prepared.

Slices of Italian bread were topped with thin slices of pecorino romano cheese and thin slices of pear (d’Anjou).  Several specimens were also prepared with gorgonzola instead of romano, a common variation.  The specimens were placed in a moderate oven (350 degrees F, 177 degrees C) for ten minutes: the objective being to heat and soften the ingredients, not to melt or cook them.  They were then removed from the oven, and drizzled with the chestnut honey.

The team judged the results positive.  The combination of crusty bread, salty cheese, fresh pear, and musky honey was pronounced significantly tasty.  The gorgonzola was assessed as particularly effective.

Those wishing to replicate the procedure should be apprised that earlier researchers have reported excellent results by omitting the bread, and simply using a bisected pear; and with substituting similar darker honeys, such as acacia or silver fir.

(Posted by Doug Skinner)  

Tags: Dietary Mores

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Angela // Jun 3, 2010 at 7:19 am

    I enjoy a similar snack with fig jam and gorgonzola. The combination of tangy jam and rich creamy cheese with the crusty bread is delightful.

  • 2 Lisa // Jun 3, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I can’t believe you didn’t invite me! I would have given myself a special dairy dispensation!

  • 3 Doug // Jun 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Lisa — This was upstate; I had to go up there to get some work done. We’ll have to continue this research down here in NYC.

  • 4 mamie // Jun 3, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Perhaps this could be tasted upstate at an ullage retreat.

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