Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: Mr. Jones. Mr. Danish. Mr. Resurrection. Mr. Wire.

Chocolate chip danish from Katella Deli, Los Alamitos

BENNINGTON -- The jones hits now and then, a craving for the intense pastry full of chocolate chips and cinnamon and sugar and whatever other ingredients they use to make the crumble on the top. Each bite is a party in your mouth, and everyone's invited.

Since leaving California 20 years ago, Art Gallery Dude has searched far and wide for chocolate chip danish that matches the many pleasures of a chocolate chip danish from Katella Deli. Nothing has. Nothing does. Nothing ever will. It is one of those unique pleasures that inhabits its own universe. That universe is born in Los Alamitos.

Katella will not divulge the recipe for chocolate chip danish and you must go to the bakery just down the street from the famed horse track to buy them. Luckily, AGD's boss has friends in high places who live in L.A. and will drive to Katella to buy and ship 'em to Vermont.

Three dozen danish arrived yesterday at Fiddlehead at Four Corners. Joy of joys. You can't just devour these treats like Oreo's or a handful of chocolate chips. 

No, you make a date with each danish, and you savor every bite and leave no crumbs behind.

Meanwhile ...

Another box arrived yesterday, from Ketchikan, Alaska. Inside was a cap and this ...

This Resurrection Blend was a gift from Raven's Brew Coffee for AGD's review (here) of Deadman's Reach blend a few weeks back. A sweetie by the name of Leslie Morgan liked the review so much that she built a replica of it on Deadman's Brew website ...

Deadman's Reach arrived about the same time as The Wire -- and this was (still is) an experience in which excellent coffee complements TV excellence.

And now Resurrection has arrived at the same time chocolate chip danish from Katella Deli arrived -- and this is perfect dessert for ...

Resurrection? AGD was amused when Megan McConnel of Raven's Brew sent him this blend because of the bio he wrote for the piece on the Deadman's Brew website: "Art Gallery Dude is a dead newspaper reporter trying to reclaim his soul again in them thar hills of Vermont." During their email exchange AGD told Megan to surprise him with a blend, so he can only appreciate that she chose Resurrection to help him find his soul. Good times.

Megan McConnel of Raven's Brew sent AGD a pack of Resurrection

So then, you open the bag and notice right away that the beans aren't nearly as sweaty as Deadman's Brew beans. The beans are lighter in color, too, some of them a much lighter brown. The dank aroma of Deadman's Reach beans hits your nose soon as you open the bag; Resurrection's aroma is much more subtle when you open a bag although the aroma becomes intense after you ground the beans. Whereas the flavor of Deadman's Reach is rich, dark, bold, gritty, Resurrection is dark and milder while floral and winey notes are noticeable but slight, and that's good because no one wants pretty coffee, bubba.

AGD gives Deadman's Brew 5 stars and Resurrection 4 stars.

The question becomes do you sully the honor of chocolate chip danish from Katella Deli by serving it with anything less than 5-star coffee? I don't know, man, but Raven's Brew has proven itself for the second time in as many tries so AGD is giving the green-friendly outfit the benefit of the doubt.

That means the best of 3 worlds are colliding for the next few days ...

Busy grinder and Resurrection coffee ...

And chocolate chip danish
and The Wire galore;
Protip: chocolate chip danish from Katella
is best served after heating it for 10 minutes

And this works out beautifully because most Wire lovers have told AGD that Season 4 is the best of the five seasons. Let's hope their hype lives up to the billing because Season 3 is one of the finest TV experiences of AGD's lifetime.

But AGD probably won't wear the Deadman's Reach cap because ...

... there's way too much hair percolating under there.

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