Premium Goo Goos and Cincy Hockey Moms

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The Swanson Premium Goo Goo Cluster from Nashville.

It’s really been a Goo Gooey kind of week.  My sister texted me last night from Nashville.  “Hey – we went to the Goo Goo Candy store and I brought you back some Goo Goo Clusters.”   Awesome, I thought.   She and her fellow Hockey Moms were there on a  girls’ getaway weekend.    The great news was that not only did she bring me the three standard Goo Goo varieties, but also, their current Premium Goo Goo, called the Swanson, that is only sold at the Nashville mother-store.

Now hockey moms are a different breed than say the standard soccer or football moms.  They’re tougher.  They can withstand the cold temperatures of the hockey rink, and still have a broader yell-range than other moms.  Their ref-yelling octaves go both higher and lower than other sport moms.   And, they have more sweaty accessories per kid to clean in between games.

So of course I researched the Swanson and other Premium Goo Goos.     What I found was a Chocolate Valhalla of amazing Premium Goo Goo varieties.    All the Premium Goo Goos come with  tongue-in-cheek Nashville humor.   The Swanson is named after the character Ron Swanson in the comedy series Parks and Recreation.    It has French Toast, Maple Bourbon-candied Gifford’s bacon, pecan praline nougat, bourbon caramel and milk chocolate.  Oh my Goo Goo!

The Goo Goo Store in Nashville is a part store, part dessert and milkshake bar, and part Chocolate University.    It’s located in downtown Nashville, across from the Johnny Cash Museum.    It’s also the birthplace of all handmade Premium Goo Goos.  The premium Goo Goo is a genus marketing tool that Goo Goo developed about three years ago.   Not only do they expand the brand in unique ways, it allows them to celebrate the chefs, tastes and culture of Nashville and the South.

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The first Premiums were collaborations with the likes of breweries and Southern institutions.    One of the first was a holiday Premium called the Snowman Jack, made with Nashville Jackalope Brewery’s Snowman Stout infused chocolate ganache, peppermint nougat, and crushed chocolate chip cookies, covered in white chocolate.   It’s kind of the inverse of Covington, Kentucky,  Braxton Brewery’s Claus Peppermint Stout, with Doscher peppermint candy cane.

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Another collaboration – with Southern Living Magazine –  was the Hummingbird Goo Goo.    Named after one of my favorite cakes – kind of a tropical, Southern version of the carrot cake – this Premium Goo Goo has  pecan butter, pecans, banana chips, caramel, vanilla wafer and whipped pineapple white chocolate cream cheese ganache, all covered in dark chocolate.     There’s also a Red Velvet Premium Goo Goo.     You can start to see all the Southern flavors here.

The Summer Chef Series was started in 2015 as a result of a dinner Nasvhille chef  Dale Levitski of Sinema Restaurant + Bar was preparing at the James Beard House in New York City.   He approached Goo Goo about a sweet that would put a purely Nashville riff on this dinner.   Goo Goo was down with the collab. and the  Rocky Roadkill Goo Goo Cluster – featuring peanut butter, marshmallow, pretzels, peanuts and potato chips – was born.

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So then Goo Goo’s Marketing Director, Beth Sacahan, contacted 8 Nashville chefs that year and started the Summer Chef Series.   Chef Hal at my favorite restaurant in Nashville –  Lockeland Table (they make a mean Nashville Hot Pig Ear) – came up with the Coal Miner’s Surprise, which has house-smoked pecans, orange-scented caramel, and J.D. Dickinson’s West Virginia sea salt, covered in dark chocolate.

Other Premiums that came out that year were The South of Somewhere Goo Goo by Chef Matt Farley of Southern Steak and Oyster (a crispy rice treat, Nutella, toasted hazelnut, dried strawberry Goo Goo).  Nashville chef Karl Worley of Biscuit Love collaborated to create a Premium Goo Goo inspired by their dessert of the same name. The Gertie is made with peanut butter, pretzels, caramelized banana jam and vanilla wafers all covered in dark chocolate.

I could go on all day about the ingenuity of these chefs in the Goo Goo Summer Series.   Some other delicious sounding ones were Hey, Paisan!  Chef Tony Galzin’s (Nicky’s Coal Fired) Premium Goo Goo, using  Averna amaro caramel, toasted pistachios, and Amarena cherry nougat, all covered in dark chocolate, then sprinkled with Trapani sea salt.

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Then there’s the Bananas Bryan Goo Goo from Chef Bryan Lee Weaver of Butcher & Bee Nashville – a banana pudding ganache, toasted marshmallows, vanilla wafers and caramel covered in milk chocolate.   Pat Martin created the Whole Hog Goo Goo – a spicy pig fat-candied pecans, molasses nougat, fig jam and milk chocolate sprinkled with sea salt.

Chef John Lasater of Hattie B’s creation,  the Goo Goo Cluckster, pays homage to THE Nashville favorite: hot chicken and waffles. It’s made with spicy chili ganache, maple syrup caramel, brown sugar maple syrup nougat and Jeni’s Waffle Cone Crunch, all coated in dark chocolate.

The Orange Blossom Special sounds amazing -it  has orange cardamom caramel with Willa’s Tennessee Wildflower Honey Shortbread and a vanilla bean pistachio nougat, all covered in milk chocolate.

There’s even a nod to India with the  Bollywood Y’all Goo Goo, created by Chef Maneet Chauhan   This unique one is made with spicy cashews, fried chickpea pearls, crispy rice snacks, and caramel with a hint of lime, all covered in dark chocolate.  Holy Mumbai!

After reading about all these Premium Goo Goo flavors, I thought, how cool it would be for Cincinnati to bring back the Goober Cluster Doschers used to make.”   We could do a Chef’s series leading up to our Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic, as a sort of a “Take This Nashville,”  nod and invent our own flavors.

I’m thinking Opera Cream or Kentucky Pulled Cream candy in place of the marshmallow nougat.   Or a Cincinnati Chili spiced chocolate with crunchy oyster crackers.    How about a Black Forest Goober, as a nod to our German heritage.   Hey, even a Goetta-A-Go-Go Goober might even be a winner!   Ok Cincy Chefs – start brainstorming!

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What the Heck is a Savoy Truffle?

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There have been many songs written about candy. Artists across music genres, from Dolly Parton to Fifty Cent, have written ditties about sweet treats. The year I was born, Sammy Davis Jr.’s The Candy Man reached the top of the charts and became a theme song in the quintessential movie about candy, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But, no other song has as much candy history embedded in its lyrics as the song Savoy Truffle by the Beatles. It’s on their most beloved album, the 1968 White Album, but because it’s near the end of the album, it’s often forgotten.

 
The song was written by George Harrison, inspired by his friend Eric Clapton’s penchant for chocolate truffles from Mackintosh’s Good News chocolates, an actual candy store in Halifax, United Kingdom. The song lyrics talk about various flavors of their truffles and warns his mate, Clapton, about the detrimental affect all that chocolate would have on his teeth. Harrison, as a practitioner of Eastern spirituality, in an a al carte fashion, thought tooth decay was a sign of deeper moral decay.

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A box of Macintosh’s Good News Chocolates was a popular gift in 1960s UK. It would be like getting a box of Aglamesis assorted or Esther Price’s chocolates here in Cincinnati. There were 11 flavors of truffles in a box in 1968 when the song was written. Each truffle’s name sort of reveals what flavor it hides inside, except for the Savoy Truffle. After much searching – since these flavors are no longer available – it seems the Savoy Truffle is a flavor something like an Almond Joy candy bar.

 
The song opens with two flavors, “Cream Tangerine and Montelimar.” Both were authentic chocolate flavors of Mackintosh’s, but cherry cream, coconut fudge, and pineapple heart, were creations of Harrison’s. Montelimar is a type of honey, almond and pistachio chewy nougat from the Provence region of France. It would be like Doshers adding nuts to their French Chew and then covering it in chocolate. Ginger Sling and Coffee Dessert were other authentic flavors mentioned in the song. But why did Harrison save the diamond shaped, milk chocolate Savoy Truffle as the one that would cause all Clapton’s teeth to be pulled?

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The mysterious Savoy Truffle, apparently was always the prized truffle, of all the 11 flavors. But the 1960s were a time of new flavors clashing with old ones. It was a time when family owned businesses like Mackintosh & Sons, were diving into conglomerate mergers and corporate take-overs – essentially the Nestle globalization of the UK.
Mackintosh’s was founded in 1890 by husband and wife team John “The Toffee King,” and Violet Mackintosh. They were originally popular for their toffee, which was their own recipe fusing English butterscotch and American caramel, and gave Halifax the moniker of “Toffee Town.” John ran the company until his death in 1920, after which his son, Harold, took over. The company would go on to invent the Rolo (1937) and the Toffee Crisp (1963) candies. After several acquisitions, the company has been owned by Nestle since 1988.

 

 

Peanut-Caramel-Chocolate Clusters and Bluegrass Music Go Well Together – In Cincinnati, and Nashville

It was a warm, rainy day, December 11, 1949, when banjo player Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt walked up to the door of 811 Race Street in Cincinnati. They were headed to the second floor of a studio owned by WLW radio engineer, Earl T. “Buckey” Herzog. Both men started unpacking instrument cases in the studio, and embarked on making Bluegrass music history. Scruggs would get the hide head, or top surface, of his five-string Gibson Granada banjo up to tension by holding it up to a light bulb. This tried and true method would evaporate the excess humidity, giving him his signature high pitched sound. Scruggs was a young 25 years old, and Flatt a seasoned 35. That day, they recorded the driving instrumental, “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” which would become probably the most renowned Bluegrass composition of all times. The roughly two minute forty second lightning-fast instrumental would jump out of radio speakers around the country and launch Bluegrass music.

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In July of 2017 the Cincinnati Music Heritage foundation opened Herzog Music, and is preserving the upstairs former studio space for events and lessons. A few days ago, I got to be a part of their events series, presenting from that same small corner space on the second floor, where Scruggs and Flatt invented Bluegrass music. To my left, was the piano that Hank Williams Sr., played and recorded his songs, like “Lovesick Blues,” while at Herzog’s studio. Surrounding me were old photos of all the musicians who recorded in this hallowed ground – the likes of the Delmore Brothers, Homer and Jethro, Rosemary Clooney, Grandpa Jones, and a host of others. The residue of their music history oozed like chocolate from the photos and the ghost sounds of their voices and instruments

 
My presentation attempted to connect the Cincinnati candy industry to the local music industry. My hook was to use a very well-known candy from the music city, the Goo Goo Cluster, to connect the story of Bluegrass’s founding fathers, who did it first, in the Queen City. I had just come back, that same day from Nashville, on a business trip, so this was all an eeiry full circle.

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The Goo Goo Cluster is the candy of Nashville. It was invented in 1912 by Howell Campbell of the Standard Candy Company and billed as the nation’s first combination candy bar. It’s a 240 calorie cluster of peanuts, caramel, and marshmallow noughat, all covered in milk chocolate. Billed as “a honky tonk for your tastebuds”, it was invented at a time when cheap, but high calorie foods were important for the under-nourished working class Americans of Appalachia. The Standard Candy Company has been a sponsor of the Grand Ole Opry since 1925, being the only candy to advertise on stage there.

 
While the two Bluegrass geniuses were recording at Herzog in 1949, one block north, and another block east, the Doscher family were making candy in their Court Street facility. At the time, they were still making chocolate candies under the Bon Ton and Kingston brand names. Today Doscher only makes two candies – Peppermint Candy Canes for Christmas, and several flavors of the French Chew. This was also before Nashville’s Music Row and King Records made its mark in its Evanston studio, north of downtown.

 
In 1955, the same year that Scruggs and Flatt became members of the Grand Ole Opry, Doscher Brothers released a candy called the Goober Cluster. It, like the Goo Goo Cluster, was a cluster of peanuts, caramel, and milk chocolate. It was only on the market three years, so there is some indication they might have been sued or threatened by Standard Candy because of its similarity to the Goo Goo. And, in 1956, a similar Doscher product, tragically named the Nut Burger, was released but never went into full production. This would make you think that Doscher tried to rename the product to avoid litigation, but then decided to pull production of it altogether.

 
Was the Doscher product a me-too product aimed at taking candy market share away from the Goo Goo Cluster? Had Doscher heard about the Goo Goo because of all the Herzog musicians around the corner from their candy factory, who also played at the Grand Ole Opry? We may never know. But one thing is clear in Cincinnati, as in Nashville, Bluegrass music and chewy peanut clusters went together like a five string banjo and a mandolin.

The Crunchy Taco, Stolen by Taco Bell, That Fueled the LA Area Hispanic Civil Rights Movement

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I spent some time last year in Taco Bell’s Corporate Culinary kitchen in Irvine, California, oddly enough, experimenting with their food development teams on soft taco wraps.      Taco Bell actually got its start with the taco dorado or hard taco,  the version of the Mexican taco that most Americans were first introduced.   Now, the original, and more authentic, soft taco, is the more popular version in American food.    High end restaurants serve $8 brussel sprout or tempura fried cauliflower soft tacos with craft-curated smoked margaritas.

Corporate art in the Taco Bell Headquarters and the original Taco Bell boy mascot.

But in the 1960s through the 1980s, the hard taco from Taco Bell and other me-too chains like Zantigo, were what Americans knew as the true Mexican taco.    I personally hated the hard taco, especially those from the Ortega hard taco dinner kit.   One bite of the stale, flavorless taco shattered it and sent all the fillings tumbling onto the plate.    The soft taco provides a much better vehicle to hold delicious fillings as you bite through it.

What I didn’t know was that this hard taco was stolen by Taco Bell from a much earlier restaurant, Mitla’s Café in San Bernadino, California.    Mitla Café was started in 1937 by Lucia Rodriquez as a small lunch counter serving Mexican food on Route 66.    After losing her first husband, Lucia married Salvator Rodriquez, and expanded the Café into the size it is today.

Glenn Bell, the Bell of Taco Bell, opened a hamburger and hot dog stand across from the Mitla Café in San Bernadino, in 1948.    After returning from the Marine Corps after World War II, Bell saw the success of the McDonald’s brothers hamburger drive up in San Bernadino.   This drove him to open his own competitive operation.    But he also saw the long lines that developed out of Mitla’s Café across the street and wanted in on their popular tacos dorados, or hard tacos.     He thought tacos were the way to beat McDonald’s.   He learned how to make the hard tacos from Salvator at Mitla’s, toned down the spices of the meat, adapted a red sauce he used on his hot dogs, and introduced the taco at his hamburger stand in  1951.    The Hispanics passed over the tacos, ordering hamburgers or hot dogs instead, but the non Hispanic customers loved them.    This idea led into what would become Taco Bell in 1962, which introduced “Mexican” food to many Americans, and is now a worldwide chain owned by Yum Brands.

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Now into it’s fourth generation, Mitla’s served people of all walks of life, but was the meeting place of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce, which stood to end the segregation of Hispanics in schools, public pools, and other public institutions in the southern California area.    Salvator was very active in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and hosted them in his restaurant as they planned their next moves .   Cesar Chavez was a regular at Mitla’s as he helped organize the produce pickers of the San Bernadino Valley.  Mitla’s sponsored Hispanic baseball teams and Hispanic church congregations.   Parades, demonstrations, and acts of civil disobedience, resulting from the city’s refusal to accept the outright racism against Mexicans and Hispanics, all started at Mitla’s.

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So the next time you take a bite into a  crunchy taco at Taco Bell or anywhere else, and all the toppings fall onto your plate, know that you are taking a bite into Mexican Civil Rights history.

Zoutis Candy Shop was the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter of Cincinnati’s Civil Rights Movement

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Zoutis Candy Shop in downtown Cincinnati, 1980s.

When I learned about the Civil Rights movement and segregation in high school, I thought it was all a Southern thing.    To me, it all happened in Mississippi and Alabama, not here in Cincinnati.   I had later heard stories from elderly black folks in Northside who said that during their childhood in the 1950s they were only allowed to sit in the balcony of the local theatres like the Park, the Americus, and the Liberty on Hamilton Avenue.   But, I had never seen any outward signs or evidence of it here in Greater Cincinnati.     We had adeptly erased the shame of segregation from our built environment.   That was until I started interviewing folks for my book about the Candy Industry here.

One of the cool things about the Candy industry was how many Greeks, more specifically , Spartans, were involved and are still involved in the candy industry.   It’s the reason we have a custom of eating a peppermint patty after having a Cincinnati Threeway.  The most recognizable of these Spartan-immigrant owned candy shops is Aglamesis in Oakley, who still hand dip their chocolates.   Across the river in Covington, there was a three generation candy shop , whose original location and sign are still there.  That is Droganes Candy Shop.

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The inside of Sam Droganes candy shop in Covington, Kentucky, looking toward the Whites Only entrance.

Last year I met Sam,  the grandson of the founder, and got to peak back in time to his family’s candy shop, which is nearly in tact as it was around the turn of the last century.    He took me into the basement to show me all the old candy equipment – the opera cream beater, the chocolate dippers, and more.  Then he took me to the back to show me where the freezer was where they made their homemade ice cream.  Then in the back I noticed the entrance had sort of a show window that looked like a smaller version of the front.  So I asked him, why does the back entrance have a show window if it was used for deliveries.   He told me that was because this was the entrance for blacks – they were not allowed to enter through the front which was for whites only.    Oh my God, I thought.   This was the first in tact evidence I had ever seen of segregation in Greater Cincinnati.

What was even more interesting was that Tony Zoutis, who owned Zoutis Candies in downtown Cincinnati, learned the candy trade at Droganes.    Zoutis had several stores throughout downtown and was one of the last holdouts of independent businesses as Urban Renewal saw the demolition of the location of many of his shops, causing him to relocate numerous times in the 1970s and 1980s.   He handmade at least five flavor of ice cream daily, and hand made chocolates like our local favorite opera cream.

But in 1949, Tony’s Government Square shop became the focus to integrate Cincinnati’s segregated community, more than a decade before the student sit-in at the Woolworth Lunch Counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.  A group of white and black folks from the Cincinnati Committee on Human Relations (CCHR), an early civil rights group, sat at the Zoutis candy counter for several hours, but were refused service.   They left, but returned another time, where they were served menus with greatly inflated prices, were harassed, sprayed with soda water and again refused service.  After two more nonviolent sit-ins at the Zoutis counter, and letter righting to Zoutis, the CCHR was contacted by Marshall Bragdon of the Mayor’s Friendly Relations Committee stating that Zoutis would serve the group.   The Mayor’s  FRC had been established in 1943 to make sure that each racial and religious group felt properly represented in their community.   A fifth visit by the group proved this, and segregation at downtown counters in Cincinnati gradually became a thing of the past.

Zoutis had no hard feelings, nor did the group that was originally refused service, and many African Americans became loyal Zoutis customers.     A sign hung in his shop until it closed that read, “Laughter is God’s hand on the shoulder of the troubled world.”   Laughter and sweetness – sure elements of getting along in a diverse world.

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What’s the Highest “Way” You can Eat Cincinnati Chili?

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We all know that a 3-Way in Cincinnati is different than a 3-Way in Los Angeles. A Cincinnati 3-Way, of course, refers to our beloved Cincinnati Chili served over tender (never al dente) spaghetti and topped with shredded cheddar cheese. There are variations on the three way at some parlors. Skyline has its habanero cheddar cheese, and Gold Star had a srirracha cheese for a while. Some people crush oyster crackers on top or as they eat into it – but that’s not officially a “Way.” You always cut into a threeway, never swirl it like Italians eat their spaghetti. Some add tobascco or another hot sauce. My recent addition to a threeway is South African Peri Peri Sauce, which is a bit hotter than tobascco and has an interestingly different taste.

 
Originally, the grandfather to our Cincinnati Threeway was called Chili mac or chili spaghetti. The Macedonian brothers John (Ivan) and Tom (Athanas) Kiradjieff, at their Empress Chili Parlor, served Cincinnati chili over spaghetti without shredded cheddar cheese for the first few years. Founded in 1922, in the Empress burlesque theatre, they were actually serving an Americanized version of their Mediterranean saltsa mi kima. After seeing a ‘hoochie coo’ show at the Empress Burlesk (the sign was never correctly spelled) – a customer could sit at a small counter, order a chili mac, have a Turkish coffee and smoke an Ibold Cigar from the humidor in the corner. It wasn’t until the early 1930s that a customer suggested that shredded cheddar cheese on top would make it even better. The name of that customer is lost to history, but that day, in the height of the Depression, the Cincinnati 3-Way was born.

 
Later, a 4 –Way became the addition of either chopped fresh onions or beans on top of the chili, and a 5-Way became beans and onions on top of the chili. I’m a 4-way onion with habanero cheese type of guy myself.

 
But two of the independent chili parlors have added a 6 – Way to their menus, just to assure the evolution of Cincinnati Chili Culture. The first to do this was Dixie Chili, founded in 1926, by Nicholas Sarakatsannis, another Macedonian immigrant, who worked for Empress Chili to learn the trade. Dixie’s 6- Way starts with a standard 5- Way, and adds fresh chopped garlic on top. I’ve never tried it myself, but some people swear by it. And, there were a lot of Italians in Newport, Kentucky. In fact, the hillside neighborhood of Newport was nicknamed ‘Spaghetti Knob,’ because of all the Italians in the area. And there were restaurants like Pompilio’s where you could get garlic infused ‘tomato gravy.’ So maybe it was all the Italians of Newport that spawned the Dixie 6-Way.

 
Blue Ash Chili is the other independent parlor, but theirs came much later and is different than Dixie’s. Blue Ash’s starts with a standard 5-Way, but adds fried jalapeno pepper caps on top of the cheese.

 
No other chili parlor has stepped up to the plate to add other ingredients for a 6 or greater Way, and they should take this as a challenge. In my opinion there should be a crunch component adder, maybe under the cheese – say for example, tortilla strips, pickle chips, or jalapeno chips. Sliced black or green olives on top of the cheese might be a nice salty adder. And, I definitely don’t think all the parlors have experimented enough with different types of cheese. I would love to see a shredded horseradish cheddar cheese, or a mix of feta and cheddar.

The Franzbrotchen: A Pastry of Northern Germany born from Napoleonic Occupation

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For New Year’s Eve this year, I decided to do partake in indulgence early, by doing the brunch at the Netherland Hilton Hotel, with a friend. This is hands down, the best brunch in Cincinnati. It has an omelet bar, with eggs benedict and boiled eggs with spinach and tomatoes; a seafood bar, with the best smoked salmon this side of the Pacific Northwest; a prime rib station, a charcuterie station, a salad station, and a wonderful petit four dessert station, made by their award winning pastry chef, Megan Ketover. Megan competed on Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts a few years ago. For this brunch, she made cute little personal buche de Noels, with a slice of chocolate swirl cake the size of a quarter, each with a green flocked white chocolate square and a marshmallow mushroom.

 
But, what Megan also bakes each morning, starting at 5 AM are the amazing German brotchen that flank the charcuterie bar. Megan’s brotchen are THE best in Greater Cincinnati. Her only competition was the Bernhard’s Bakery in Newport, that closed in 2017. They have the perfect crusty outside, with a chewy, flavorful inside. They make a great home for the artisan cheeses and cold cuts on the charcuterie bar.

 
I gushed so much to the Garde Manger on the floor about how good the brotchen were, my friend tried to find them on the bar, but came back with a cinnamon roll that’s reminiscent of another type of brotchen, the Franzbrotchen, that has the most interesting history as a type of food I call “Conquered Foods.” These are adapted foods that are brought into a region by conquering invaders. To me, they are probably the most fascinating type of food out there. The locals try to adapt a favorite food of their invaders to appease them. Sometimes they come close to the original, but more times than not, they morph into something a bit different. The croissant itself is an adaption of Viennese strudel, which is in itself, an adaption of baklava from the invading Ottoman Empire. So the Franzbrotchen has probably the longest legacy as a Conquered Food, with at least four morphs of itself from its travel from Turkey to Austria to France to Germany.

 
The Franzbrotchen could be described as the love-child of a cinnamon-sticky bun and a croissant. And, in its case, the conquering invaders were the French of Napoleonic times. They occupied the Northern German port city of Hamburg from 1806-1814, which they made into their military quarters and a garrison town. The local German bakers tried to respond to the French soldiers’ desire for their traditional breakfast fare by imitating the croissant. However, they really only understood their heavy doughs, characteristic of Northern Europe and Scandinavia (where our Danish pastries originate), so the Franzbrotchen never really took on the light and fluffy form they were meant to. And, the German bakers added spices and sweeteners to salvage what they could. This meant the addition of cinnamon and raisins to the swirled bun. Some variations of the Franzbrotchen today in Hamburg, contain various seeds like pumpkin seeds, or even chocolate sprinkles (shokoflocken).

 
Whether or not the French took to this variation of their beloved croissant is not documented. My fourth great grandfather Christian-Friedrich fought against the Napoleonic forces to expel them from Mecklenburg, Germany. His fight, as well as others from his town, is recorded in a plaque inside the Marienkircke (Church of St. Mary) of Penzlin. I wonder if he went into battle with any Franzbrotchen in his satchel.

 
After the Northern Germans, like my ancestors, finally expelled the French, they kept this new bakery variant, and the Franzbrotchen is still widely popular in other cities around Hamburg with coffee. The German bakers were inventive with their method of making the Franzbrotchen. Instead of pounding out a giant block of butter, chilling it, folding it into the dough, and repeating several times, they cut the butter into thin pieces, folded into the yeasted dough, and minimally rolled. This cut the chill time from 3 hours for croissants to 20 minutes. With the cinnamon sugar mix, the Franzbrotchen has a sticky caramelized outside like our American sticky bun, than the flaky, buttery outside of a French croissant. So, our American sticky bun may just be the fifth morph of this long-storied Conquered Food