New Amsterdam Dinner at The Farm on Adderley: Cider In Context
Before New York Was New York: A Culinary History of New Amsterdam, 1626
Venue: The Farm on Adderley restaurant and event space.
What: Dinner – A curated and contextualized meal inspired by early Dutch settlers in Nieuwe Amsterdam and the Lefferts’ family cookbook. The Leffert’s were early Dutch settlers with a stronghold of land in the Flatbush (“Vlacke Bos”) area of Brooklyn.
Context Provided By: Historic Gastronomist, Sarah Lohman, founder and author of Four Pounds Flour Historic Gastronomy blog.
The Seasonal Menu: included: house-made bread & butter with dried fruit and cheese, kale & bread “sop”, salted beef, corn “pannekoeken”, a “koolsla” of cabbage, butter & vinegar, and for dessert – apple crullers and salted caraway “koeckjes” with quince preserves.
The Farm on Adderley’s well-curated drinks list features several cider and mead options which were the recommended pairings for the evening.
Ciders on offer included: Breezy Hill Farmhouse Cider, Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider, and Sylboro Old Sin.
Cider #1: A glass of Breezy Hill Farmhouse Cider – A fresh, unfiltered, alive and lively apéritif. The perfect breakfast cider, also well matched to the bloomy rind cheese, dried fruits, beer jelly, and creamy, homemade butter.
Cider #2: A bottle of Slyboro Old Sin – Enjoyed throughout the meal. Well paired with the cured and roasted meats and exceptional when paired with the various root vegetables and bitter winter greens.
An emerging idea, noted in several of our upcoming American cider reviews: American craft ciders express an extremely strong affinity with raw, cooked, and pickled, root and cruciferous vegetables, especially – but not exclusively – greens. Brussel sprouts, cabbages, kales – this is where American cider parings seem to really express terroir. The humble, practical and sustaining greens are elevated by the cider and the straightforward pleasures of a well made cider are intensified when consumed with roots and greens. American agrarian character as part of a distinct American terroir or taste of place, is clearly expressed through the apple, the vegetable, and the cider maker’s craft.
These American ciders paired with humble roots and hardy greens lead to a deeply satisfying sense of well-being. The transporting quality of these pairings remind us of the pleasures of enjoying the “fruits of one’s own labors” at the table, as discussed in David Buchanan’s book Taste, Memory.
Cider #3: A glass of Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider – with the koeckjes and crullers. A dry, crisp, compliment to the caraway, salt and spice of the sweets. Not an obvious choice as it deviates from the conventional sweet with sweet notion, but this mix of sweet, spice and ultra dry cider was, to our tastes, a very fine and refreshing ending to a most enjoyable meal.
This idea of a regional and historical meal in context is an interesting way to present ciders – and could easily inspire makers and purveyors to create their own locale and time specific cider dining or tasting event.