Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When a Sticky Bun Meets Pork

Pork Sticky Roll, Northern Spy Food Co.
How could you possibly make a sticky roll better than it already it is, you ask?  How about filling it with pork?

At least, that is what the good people at Northern Spy Food Co. in New York City are doing.  And damn is it a fine improvement to an already scrumptious food. 

Listed under the “snack” section of the dinner menu, the sticky pork roll resembles its breakfast cousin only superficially.  Just looking at the spiraled roll with creamy glaze it would be hard to distinguish from the cinnamon filled sugar topped pastry found in the glass case of just about every coffee shop. 

But take one bite of this sinful, savory pastry and expectations give way to surprise then delight, as the full flavor profile unfolds.

First, there is no cinnamon, and any perceptible sweetness appears to come solely from the grass fed pork morsels tucked away in the folds of the soft roll.  As for that glaze, far from molten powdered sugar, the topping on the pork sticky roll is made of locally sourced parsnips pureed then hit with a good mustardy kick.

The look of this dinner roll is all whimsy but the taste- soft roll, luscious pork, sweet and spicy sauce- is pure classic flavor combo. 

As for the pork sticky roll’s place on the dinner menu, if I were to show up at my local coffee shop one morning to find Northern Spy’s pork roll in the glass case next to the typical sweet version, I know which one I’m buying.    

Amy Powell is a food and travel writer based in New York City. She is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and the French Culinary Institute. Follow her on Twitter @amymariepowell

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