Foraged flavors of the week!We've been working on a series of foraged flavors for the past couple of months and we're happy to announce that this Saturday at Smorgasburg we'll debut two of them:
- foraged root soda (a root beer-like soda using sassafras root, spice bush and wintergreen leaves)
Ingredients were sourced via Evan Strusinski, the noted forager who also supplies a number a of noted New York restaurants.
Angelica archangelica has a long history of medicinal use, specifically popular in Scandinavian countries where it grows quite easily. If the taste is slightly familiar to you, it's because it is used to flavor gins, Vermouth and Chartreuse. In this batch, Antonio used both the root and the stems (see photos below)
Our root soda uses all found and foraged roots which was a fun challenge for us.
Sassafras is a traditional ingredient in root beer - it smells fantastic - perfumey, sweet and earthly.
Spice bush (Lindera; check out the informative Wikipedia link here) - is aromatic, heady and spicy and a fantastic accompaniment to the more tanin-y notes in the wintergreen.
Wintergreen is a small waxy leafed plant with red berries that grows everywhere in the north-east. Wintergreen extract is the main flavoring in almost all modern root beers. It's easy to spot in the fall or winter when it is one of the few green things poking through the fallen leaves or snow (we foraged this batch of wintergreen ourselves from the Catskills - see picture below)
We're excited to bring these roots and plants straight from the woods of the north-east to your cup of soda. Be warned though - even though some of these flavors are familiar from root beer, they are usually balanced (or smothered, depending how you look at it) by lots of sweeter lighter flavors, such as vanilla. Here we are letting them shine on their own for the adventurous tasters to enjoy in all their earthy, bitter, herbal glory!