FLAVOR May 2017

Page 1

Summer 2017

Kombucha Makes A Comeback

A Pinch Of Petal

Spiciest Thai Rolled F oods Ice Cream in the Valley



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2 Flavor | Summer 2017


A Pinch Of Petal A magazine created by

Flowers are in season at local restaurants, and yes, you’re supposed to eat them.

The sun is shining, the weather is warm and the landscape is full of flowers blooming. But why should they stay outside? This issue, we talked to Valley restaurants to see how they incorporate flora into their recipes. And they don’t just sit on the plate, either. Sweet or savory, city chefs love to put a pinch of petal straight into their cuisine. If you’re looking for a healthier drink to wash down dinner, kombucha, a mixture of tea and cultures, is coming back into style. Next, we sought out local chefs who aren’t afraid to spice it up and tip the Scoville scale – some to the extreme. Lastly, a new kind of ice cream has made its way to the Valley from Thailand, and it’s just as fun to watch being made as it is to taste. We hope you enjoy our latest issue and learn something along the way. And of course, remember, we all gotta eat.

On the cover and shown on left: Local Chop & Grill House uses freshly collected flowers in many recipes.

Photographs: Stephen Swofford

5 Spiciest Foods In The Valley Spicy food from Taj of India

Photograph: Nikki Fox

FLAVOR STAFF

Flavor is a publication of Rockingham Publishing Co., Inc. 231 South Liberty Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 For advertising information, call 540-574-6220.

Is hotter really better? Spicy food is full of flavor, and studies show chili peppers actually have health benefits.

Kombucha 20 Makes A Comeback

Corey Tierney, Editor

Editor Corey Tierney Staff Writer Aleda Johnson Staff Writer Shelby Mertens Writer Robyn Smith Photography Nikki Fox Photography Stephen Swofford Design Jennifer Dehoff

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A fizzy, tangy beverage with a very distinctive taste is on tap. Brewers say there’s nothing else like it. The manufacturing line at Blue Ridge Bucha

Photograph: Courtesy

Rolling Into Town

26

Street food staples from Asia have invaded Harrisonburg: Thai rolled ice cream, bubble tea and the Japanese crêpe – with or without meat. Crêpes and bubble tea at J-Petal

Photograph: Nikki Fox

Summer 2017 | Flavor 3


4 Flavor | Summer 2017


Taste of Thai — Chicken Panang and Thai chilies

Spiciest Foods in the Valley

By: Shelby Mertens Photographs: Nikki Fox

S

picy food is always a point of contention in any culinary conversation. When some hear the word “spicy,” they feel repulsed by the image of one’s mouth on fire, the burning sensation in the throat, with sweat dripping from the temples.

You can’t talk about spicy food without mentioning the Scoville scale — the official measurement of a chili pepper’s hotness, which is based on the concentration of the chemical Capsaicin in a pepper.

But for others, the hotter the better. Much has been researched about why some like it hot and others don’t. According to an article in Popular Science, some scientists believe people may be born with pain receptors that are not as sensitive; however, studies have actually found that cultural upbringing plays a significant factor. If you are raised eating spicy food, you become accustomed to the heat. Other studies have looked at the correlation between liking spicy food and personality traits, like thrill-seeking, the article reported.

Jalapeños are among the least spicy peppers; they’re only 1,000 to 20,000 Scoville units. The pepper used in Tabasco sauce is slightly hotter, with a range of 30,000 to 50,000 units. Habanero peppers are very hot, reaching 100,000 to 350,000 units.

Regardless, one thing’s for sure: Spicy food is full of flavor, and studies show chili peppers actually have health benefits. Research in China found that people who eat spicy food have lower risks of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

So, where do you find the hottest foods in the Shenandoah Valley? Look no further than Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint and Billy Jack’s Wing & Draft Shack, both owned by Aaron Ludwig.

Ghost peppers, or Bhut jolokia, are among the hottest peppers, at an average of 1 million Scoville units, but the spiciest chili pepper in the world is the California Reaper, which can reach up to 2.2 million Scoville units. The Guinness Book of World Records named it the hottest pepper in the world in 2013.

Summer 2017 | Flavor 5


“We actually serve them with rubber gloves. You can smell them coming through the restaurant.” – Aaron Ludwig Jack Brown’s, located at 80 S. Main St., sells about 10 to 15 Shocker burgers a week. It doesn’t seem to be a very popular menu item, as most people may be too intimidated to try it. Ludwig and his staff usually warn customers before they order it. “Sometimes, you order a spicy chicken sandwich, and it’s not spicy … [so] people think it’s like ordering a normal spicy sandwich, but we let people know how spicy it really is,” he said.

Devil Wings, which are tossed in a ghost pepper sauce, are served at Billy Jack’s Wing & Draft Shack.

Jack Brown’s Shocker burger will for sure bring some heat to your taste buds. The burger is topped with fresh jalapeños, habaneros, pepper jack cheese and its special “Shocker sauce.” “We make our own hot sauce that has about 100 habaneros chopped up in it,” Ludwig said. The Shocker sauce can be ordered on other menu items as well, for those who want to add an extra kick to any of the other burgers. Why is it called the “Shocker” burger? “We wanted to surprise and shock people of how spicy and hot it is,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig himself can’t even finish the burger. “I put hot sauce on everything, and I’ve only eaten about half of one,” he said. “It was too hot for me to finish. The fresh peppers are what really puts it over the top.” But Billy Jack’s, located at 92 S. Main St., offers an even spicier menu item — Devil wings. The wings are tossed in a little bit of Shocker sauce and ghost pepper chilis. “Ghost pepper is one of the hottest peppers you can get,” Ludwig said. “We really wanted to try to make the spiciest wings in Harrisonburg.” Those who dare to order the Devil wings can order six or 12 wings. Most order six, and even then, many can’t finish. “We actually serve them with rubber gloves,” Ludwig said. “You can smell them coming through the restaurant. It kind of burns your nostrils when you smell them cooking.”

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Most people’s reaction to the ghost pepper wings includes getting the hiccups, but Ludwig has witnessed more extreme reactions. Ludwig said one man’s eyes started to burn because he touched them while eating the wings. He had to be rushed to the bathroom to wash his eyes out. Ludwig even saw a man faint and fall off his barstool. Why do people dare to put themselves through that kind of pain? “The wings are more about the challenge of being able to finish them all. There’s always some sort of show to put on,” Ludwig said. “Sometimes, friends dare their friends to try it. Some people just really enjoy the heat.” Billy Jack’s used to offer a prize to whoever could finish the Devil wings, but Ludwig said they’ve stopped the challenge for now. In Asian cultures, spicy food is simply a way of life. At Taste of Thai, located at 917 S. High St., owner Ponsy Phonelath brings the spices of her homeland to Harrisonburg. She grows about 300 plants, sprouting peppers each year, along with importing other ingredients from Thailand. One of the spiciest dishes on the menu is Panang, a red Thai curry made with chicken, pork or beef. The Panang curry paste is made of Thai hot peppers, coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, coriander and other spices. Taste of Thai tops the dish with fresh basil, served with rice on the side. Phonelath described Panang’s level of spiciness as “medium.” “We sell a lot of it here,” Phonelath said. “But Panang is red pepper. They’re not spicier than green.”

8 Flavor | Summer 2017


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Taj of India – The dishes (clockwise from left) are saag subzi, chicken tikka masala and chicken 65. Spicy chilies top the plate.

If your taste buds are feeling adventurous, the green curry at Taste of Thai is even hotter, made with green Thai hot peppers and your choice chicken or beef with lemongrass, bamboo shoots and coconut milk in a green curry paste. For dessert, sticky rice with mango hits the spot. It’s Thai sweet rice cooked in coconut milk, with slices of fresh mango on top. The coconut milk in particular helps ease the hotness of the peppers. “This time of year, we eat a lot of sticky rice mango,” Phonelath said. “It’s a dessert to clean your system. When you eat spicy, you have sweet food [afterward]. It cools you down.”

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The Panang and green curry dishes, however, are not spicy for Phonelath, who has been eating spicy food her entire life. “We grow up with hot food [in Thailand], so it’s really nothing,” she said. Phonelath also said eating spicy food helps make Thailand’s hot and humid climate bearable. “Hot food is very good for you,” she said. “When the weather in Thailand is hot, you feel balmy and not happy. You have a headache and all that stuff. … When I eat hot food, it opens it up and I feel much better.” One’s ability to withstand spicy food depends on how often you eat it, according to Phonelath. Or, in other words, it’s an acquired taste. The more you eat it, the more you can stand it. And then it becomes a pleasurable experience.

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www.MrJsBagels.com “When you eat spicy in the beginning, just say you started to eat spicy [food now], next year you’ll be eating hotter,” she said. “After that, you cannot live without spicy food.” Taj of India in downtown Harrisonburg also serves up the rich, hot flavors of India, a country known and loved for its spicy cuisine. One of the spiciest curries is Vindaloo, which originates from the Goa region of India. The dish is typically served with pork, but Taj of India also offers Vindaloo with chicken, lamb or shrimp. The dish is sauteed with potatoes and red chili peppers.

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“Customers who want to eat the very spicy food order the Vindaloo,” said Taj of India manager Padam Sapkota. “Vindaloo is always best when it’s spicy.” Taj of India, located at 34 S. Main St., offers a lunch buffet from 11 a.m to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5-9:30 p.m. The items on the buffet line are kept at a mild or medium level of spiciness to fit everyone’s taste buds, but the food can be made hotter by adding sauce, like mint green chutney, onion chutney or Tamarind chutney. “The buffet has four vegetarian items on a rotational basis, one soup every day, one appetizer, rice, naan bread … two desserts, three chicken items … two Indian salads, one garden salad and four sauces,” Sapkota said. The chicken tikka masala is Taj of India’s most popular dish. But in order to get the spiciest dishes, it’s best to order Vindaloo off the menu. Diners choose their level of spiciness: mild, medium, medium hot, hot or extra hot.

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“People like to try different foods. Human nature is that people don’t like to eat the same thing every day. They want to try something new.” – Padam Sapkota Indian food is so delicious and flavorful because of the high number of herbs and spices that go into each dish, including turmeric, cumin, cloves, coriander, tamarind, nutmeg, fenugreek and saffron. For Americans, many introduce Indian

cuisine to their diet to spice things up — literally. “Indian food contains a lot of Indian herbs and spices,” Sapkota said. “People like to try different foods. Human nature is that people don’t like to eat the same thing every day. They want to try something new.” 

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Summer 2017 | Flavor 13


A Pinch

O f Pet a l By: Aleda Johnson Photographs: Stephen Swofford 14 Flavor | Summer 2017


“I never put something on the plate I didn’t want you to eat.” – Brian Bogan

Brian Bogan, executive chef at Local Chop & Grill House, uses freshly collected flowers in many of his recipes.

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ne of the most obvious indications of spring is the blooming of colorful buds to salute the warmer weather. Cultural trends always shift toward floral when the seasons change, be it in the clothing or houseware departments. But one place where flowers are sprouting up that may surprise consumers is in the food industry, where the trend of using rose, lavender and hibiscus as ingredients is gaining momentum. “We’re more connected with food and going outside of the

supermarket things available,” said Brian Bogan, the new executive chef at Local Chop & Grill House in downtown Harrisonburg. “Especially with the focus on locality that more and more people are getting in on, we’re looking for things growing around here.” Edible flora allows chefs to find flavors beyond those offered by commonly used ingredients, and Bogan is always looking for new ways to use typical flora.

Summer 2017 | Flavor 15


Creations from Heritage Bakery & Cafe: Wedding cake with florals (left), Lemon bundt cake batter mixed with blueberries and fresh lavender (top right), and Italian macarons infused with lavender (center) and rose. Courtesy of Isabelle Treciak

“I’m just starting to learn about foraging and what’s edible and getting my mind blown,” Bogan said. “Everyone knows rose petals are edible, but you can go a lot deeper into it.”

The greenery can also be used for more than sitting on the edge of a plate. Bogan has wrapped them into rice paper with vegetables for vegan spring rolls or chopped them up with miso paste and some scallions to make gourmet butter. He has reconstituted dried hibiscus – which can be purchased at any Asian food store – into sauces, and the Joshua Wilton pastry chef has made ice cream with it.

Bogan thinks fine dining’s focus on locally-sourced foods was a large factor in seeing a spike in unusual greenery in the kitchen. Fine dining chefs are always relying on local foragers to bring in something new and exciting — and Bogan is on board. “The focus for me is to get my food to travel as little as possible before it gets to “Our lemon lavender my kitchen, so I’m open to finding new things combination is our most and doing research,” he said. “I’ve been cooking for 18 years now, and any time you popular wedding cake find something new, it’s always really exciting, flavor this year.” and guests respond well to that as well.”

Lavender seems to be the most common floral flavor incorporated into recipes because it adds to dishes and marinades like other herbs, according to Bogan.

The Joshua Wilton House has used the flower to make lavender grits, but Isabelle Treciak uses it for sweeter concoctions, – Isabelle Treciak Bogan will add violets, hibiscus, nasturtium or usually accompanied by fresh lemon even sedum flowers to garnish a plate at Local juice and zest. “Our latest creations with Chop and at the Joshua Wilton House, where lavender are lavender lemon macarons, he was executive chef for almost two years. But the flowers are lavender lemon scones, lavender lemon bundt cakes, for more than decoration. “I never put something on the plate I lavender lemon muffins and lavender rosemary shortbread,” didn’t want you to eat,” he said. “I’m trying to get people to eat said Treciak, who co-owns Heritage Bakery and Cafe, on the flower — which people don’t usually do — when it could South Main Street in Harrisonburg. “Our lemon lavender really lend to the dish.” combination is our most popular wedding cake flavor this year,” said Traciak. Violets — which come in purple and yellow varieties perfect for James Madison University — offer a peppery, cucumber flavor to a dish, while dried hibiscus have a strong black tea flavor and redbud flowers have a slight apple taste.

16 Flavor | Summer 2017

The bakery has even used candied lavender flowers for cupcake toppers. She has also used rose in her rose white chocolate chip scones and buttercream icing for cupcakes and cakes.


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Anyone who is familiar with where botany and the culinary arts intersect will warn about how easy it is to overdo floral flavors, making confections taste like soap. “Using something like lavender, they’re like raw onions,” Bogan said. “I’m a little apprehensive about putting them in a dish because they can overpower it. The same thing goes for flowers, especially dried flowers because they are stronger in terms of flavor, so be careful how much you use.” When creating for the bakery, Treciak only flavors using natural

ingredients – never extracts. “We get our lavender buds from Friendly City Food Co-Op, and that’s nice because it adds texture,” she said. “We also get our rosewater from there.” A little goes a long way when flavoring, but the golden rule of any chef is to taste constantly, Bogan said. “I tell my cooks all the time they should be constantly tasting,” he said. “A recipe is a guide, but there are so many variables even making the same thing week from week. You need to be tasting that dish and tasting the recipe you’re making to see where the flavor profiles are.” 

Summer 2017 | Flavor 19


Kombucha Makes A Comeback By: Robyn Smith Photographs: Nikki Fox

K

ombucha sits on the shelf next to its brothers and sisters: smoothies, pressed juice, apple cider vinegar and kefir. Its food equivalent, sauerkraut, has all the charm of a bucket of fish heads. Kombucha is made by mixing tea (typically black) with what’s belovedly known as “Mother” or SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. If you’ve just recently discovered the fizzy, tangy drink, you’re not alone. The trend came creeping back in the early side of the decade, popping up in healthier grocery stores like Whole Foods before eventually reaching its fingertips on Wal-Mart and Kroger. The earliest evidence of kombucha was 3,000 years ago in the Himalayas. Before microwaves and refrigeration — when fermentation was the popular way of preserving food — kombucha was more commonly found. Here in the Valley, where the microbrewing beer industry exploded, and where bike lanes are parallel with many roadways, it makes sense that kombucha fits in well. Mountain Culture Kombucha, one of the largest local brands in the state (available at all Virginia Whole Foods locations), is run by a handful of people out of the basement of a suburban home in White Hall, Va. You couldn’t ask for a better location than that when mountain is in your brand. The brewers could throw a rock and hit one of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains from their backyard.

Blue Ridge Bucha is sold at Midtowne Market in downtown Harrisonburg.

“It gives you energy. I don’t ever have stomach issues. Never sick. And I love to drink it. I love the taste of it.” – Peter Roderick

20 Flavor | Summer 2017

Founder Peter Roderick, 28, makes deliveries to over 100 locations on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays in a large white truck that resides in a circular driveway in front of his childhood home. He’s had kombucha since he was 10 years old. His mom handed him a bottle and said, “Here, drink it. I don’t care if you don’t like it, just drink it,” and he’s been hooked ever since. “It gives you energy,” Roderick said. “I don’t ever have stomach issues. Never sick. And I love to drink it. I love the taste of it. I probably drink eight bottles a day or something.” Peter’s brewed his own kombucha for about 14 years, and started the business in 2012. His office is his childhood bedroom, and the basement, which contains the starter tank and all the inventory, is hot. A plastic tube runs from the brewery room through the office (fixed to the wall behind their Mac desktops), out the window and


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“Kombucha is a lot like beer or wine in that there’s a lot of different ways to make it and a lot of ways it can taste,” Roderick said. Mountain Culture features nine different flavors. The most popular is ginger, the “IPA” of kombucha, which any brewery worth its salt would have in stock at all times. But their original flavors are a bit more creative: Coconut Tumeric, Roderick’s favorite, has a silky mouthfeel and almost savory tang; Lavender Lemon, which is the newest variety in the works; Blueberry Lemongrass comes in a deep purple hue and captures the tartness of the fruits; and Grapefruit Hops, which is made by steeping the hops directly in kombucha with a cheesecloth (like a large tea bag), is refreshingly citrus-y. The Friendly City Food Co-Op on Wolfe Street in downtown Harrisonburg sells Mountain Culture, and down the block at Midtowne Market, Blue Ridge Bucha (formerly called Barefoot Bucha) is sold. It’s also on tap at Pale Fire Brewing Company. The company’s kombucha used to only be available on tap — yes, similar to beer at a bar, the fizzy, probiotics-infused drink was sold in kegs — but is now bottled as well. “Kombucha’s really a growing industry,” Kate Zuckerman, who founded Blue Ridge Bucha with her husband, Ethan, said. “We


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The manufacturing line at Blue Ridge Bucha

Courtesy of Kate Zuckerman were the first [kombucha] brewery in Virginia, and as we’ve seen other companies come, we haven’t seen a decline in sales.� The couple wants to decrease their carbon footprint, which is why the kegs were favored over bottles for so long. Their brewery, in Afton, Va., is in their backyard. “Nice commute, especially when you have two small kids,� she said. The drink is popular among people who live generally healthy lifestyles, though it’s hard for either brewer to commit to a stereotype. It’s available at a plethora of restaurants and bars, including Three Notch’d Brewery and Little Grill Collective. “People are looking for alternatives to sodas, alternatives to beers,� Zuckerman said. “Having something else on draft is something I think more and more people are getting turned on to.� Blue Ridge Bucha is available at about 50 stores, mainly around Charlottesville, with about six flavors available at any given time. Ginger is a staple, and a few others are similar to Mountain Culture: bluegrass bucha, which is a mix of blueberry and hops; black raspberry, which has both blackberries and raspberries; and jasmine grape, a mix of jasmine flowers, green tea and grapes. An original flavor that stands out on the shelf in its pale pink glory is elderflower sunrise, which has hibiscus and rosehips that round out its floral notes.

Summer 2017 | Flavor 23


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Blue Ridge Bucha is poured at Pale Fire Brewing Co. in Harrisonburg.

At the Food Co-Op, Denise Allen, a grocery team leader, loves kombucha — ginger being her favorite. The store sells four to 12 cases of Mountain Culture a month. “People want to support local,” Allen said. “I think people are slowly catching on, especially because of the probiotic and health benefits.” Though it may not be for everyone, it’s possible to make kombucha at home if you buy a starter kit. The starter kit is essentially a SCOBY, which looks like a cloud in water. It’s tough to develop flavors you really like, but a few years of practice will lead to more consistent, quality batches. “Plan to dedicate some serious time to it,” Zuckerman said. “It wouldn’t be something you do a few times and get exactly what you’re looking for. It takes some serious time to hone in on a flavor that you really love.” Naturally, kombucha has between 1 and 5 percent alcohol, but due to regulations by the FDA, that’s filtered down to less than 0.5 percent. It’s safe for kids to drink, and both Roderick and Zuckerman give their children kombucha. One day, Roderick plans to produce kombucha beer that’ll have a higher alcohol content. The current bottles retail between $3 to $5 — the price of a specialty latte from Starbucks. It’s a bit steep, but considered by brewers to be cheaper in the long run due to saved costs on health care. “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it,” Roderick said. “We make it the way we think is best and a lot of people will hate it. But the people that do like it, and appreciate it for what it is, are pretty loyal about it because it’s hard to find [an] equivalent.” 


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Summer 2017 | Flavor 25


Rolling Into Town By: Shelby Mertens Photographs: Nikki Fox A sweet street food staple from Asia has been invading big city markets in the U.S. for the past few years, becoming a viral food craze fit for any foodie Instagram feed: Thai rolled ice cream. Now, Jean Lin is bringing the food trend to Harrisonburg for the first time with the opening of J-Petal, a Japanese crêpe and Thai rolled ice cream franchise based out of Brooklyn, N.Y. J-Petal is located at 1645 Reservoir St. Suite 170, next to Kung Fu Tea. The shop officially opened on April 7. “It’s fun,” Lin said. “It is made in front of the customers, and the customers can create their own ice cream.” To place an order, customers first choose a base, either vanilla, green tea or Thai tea ice cream, and the toppings that will be mixed in with the ice cream, like matcha strawberry, which is strawberry and Oreo, Honey Boo Boo, which is strawberry and mango, or Black Minions, which is banana and Nutella. A milk-based liquid cream is then poured onto the metal circular top of the machine, which freezes the ice cream. The toppings are crushed and chopped up into the ice cream as it freezes. It is flattened into a thin layer so that it can be rolled up.

“It’s fun. It is made in front of the customers, and the customers can create their own ice cream.” – Jean Lin

26 Flavor | Summer 2017

Sweet crêpes and bubble tea sit on display at J-Petal.

Several ice cream rolls are then stuffed into a bowl, and three more toppings of your choice are added, with the option to drizzle a chocolate, caramel, Nutella or honey syrup on top. The rolled ice cream is $6.50. Fresh fruits, including strawberries, blueberries and mango, are available, along with other sweets like marshmallow, graham crackers, whipped cream and chocolate chips. “[Customers] want to watch. They want to look at it. It’s fun, [but] the important thing is it tastes very fresh and delicious,” Lin said. Lin’s cousin-in-law owns a popular Thai rolled ice cream shop in New York City called 10belowicecream, which inspired Lin to start her own shop here, knowing it would do well among the college crowd. “It’s crazy busy. They have a long line every day, and when we saw that, we knew the Thai ice cream is really popular for this market,” she said.


“The savory crêpes [are] good for a lunch or dinner. … It’s kind of like a sandwich with lettuce.” – Jean Lin

Joe Chen (right) makes a Japanese crêpe for a customer as J-Petal owner Jean Lin cooks crêpes.

10belowicecream was featured in a 2015 BuzzFeed article that documented the start of the Thai rolled ice cream trend in New York City. But long before hitting the streets of the Big Apple, rolled ice cream has been a tradition of Thai street vendors, spreading into other neighboring Asian countries before jumping to the U.S.

Another culinary craze that is trickling into American markets is the Japanese crêpe, which is much different from the crêpes made famous by the French. The Japanese crêpe, wrapped into a shape sort of like a flower or a cone, is filled with either ice cream or meat and veggies, functioning as either a dessert or a sandwich — a unique take on an age-old staple.

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1645 Reservoir St, Ste 170, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 www.jpetal.com 718-666-5483 Summer 2017 | Flavor 27


sweet crĂŞpe flavors include banana chocolate truffle, Hawaii sunset, Tokyo sakura and fruit martini. Customers have several choices of meat for the savory crĂŞpes: chicken, beef, ham, shrimp and crab. Alternatively, J-Petal has an egg crĂŞpe and a vegetarian crĂŞpe. The J-Petal Special remains one of the favorites because it has everything in it. The crĂŞpe is stuffed with beef, chicken, crab, shrimp and vegetables drizzled in a spicy Japanese mayo. The chicken teriyaki crĂŞpe, also a favorite, is packed with grilled chicken breast, boiled egg, lettuce, corn, carrots, string beans and baby spinach tossed in a Japanese teriyaki sauce. “The teriyaki sauce is homemade,â€? Lin said. “It’s very popular.â€? The crĂŞpes are priced at $8 and up. An employee at J-Petal makes Thai rolled ice cream for a customer.

The crĂŞpes at J-Petal are made with gluten-free rice flour. “We do the savory, and then we do the fruit one — the sweet one,â€? Lin said. “The savory crĂŞpes [are] good for a lunch or dinner. ‌ It’s kind of like a sandwich with lettuce.â€?

To wash down the Japanese crĂŞpes or the Thai rolled ice cream, J-Petal offers flavored teas that are served in a plastic light bulb. The green tea has honey, milk and mango, while a non-alcoholic mojito comes with strawberry and mango flavors. The Colada has strawberry, mango and pineapple, and the Thai iced tea has lychee in it. The light bulb drinks are $3.95 apiece.

The sweet crĂŞpes come in a variety of fruit, with or without chocolate. For example, the J-Petal cocktail is made with strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, banana, mango, whipped yogurt, custard cream, pistachio and Nutella.

Once the liquid contents of light bulb have been sipped dry, the bulb can be reused at home, either to drink out of or as a decoration around the house. “When they’re done drinking it, they can take it home, clean it out and decorate it,� Lin said.

The matcha chocolate truffle consists of strawberry, banana, homemade chocolate truffle, almond, vanilla ice cream, whipped yogurt, matcha, custard cream and a chocolate Pocky stick. Other

Lin plans to introduce more menu items in the future, including an avocado sesame roll, a roast duck crĂŞpe and a blueberry cheesecake crĂŞpe. ď Ľ

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