In case you have not
experienced the insanity had the pleasure yet, my colleague Emily Nokes is terrifyingly obsessed with very well-educated about and interested in drugstore candy—so much so that when she wrote this epic paean to mass-market Valentine's Day candy, we had to give it extra space in the paper because she wrote a LOT more than we had originally planned. (Also, lots of exclamation marks!!!!!)
But if you think Ms. Nokes is in any way discriminating in her sugar intake, you are incorrect. She will also eat fine, fine sweets carefully hand-crafted from the very best foodstuffs mere blocks away from the office at Jerry Traunfeld's great restaurant Poppy. The pastry chef there now—who has apparently inherited the magic of Dana Cree—is Matt Bumpas, and he was kind enough to drop off a care package for us here at the office.
We ate it all up. All sugar is good sugar to Ms. Nokes, but, objectively, Poppy's exquisite treats are entire universes better than M&M-Mars. Here are our and copyeditor Katie Allison's tasting notes, rendered unedited.
adorable little pinky-purple blood orange meringues
sweet and a tiny bit tart
They do not look bloody.
they melt in your mouth
crunchy and melty
angel nipples, says katie
mango lime marshmallows
beautiful pale yellow
they REALLY taste like lime
like a key lime pie
good, dense, not even remotely rubbery
a tropical party in my mouth
orange blossom turkish delight
I always wanted to like it because of the lion the witch and the wardrobe
you can taste the orange flecks... i'm a sucker for orange zest.
not too sweet
mint chocolate cookie crunch
way better version of Canada's Aero
airy and crumbly, yet rich and dense
"really good mint aftertaste"
ginger chip cookie
spicy little explosion every couple bites... in a good way
concord grape rosemary pates de fruits
"such a sophisticated flavor"
def. taste the rosemary...
real grape, deep purple
emily wants it encased in chocolate
Matt Bumpas says he's fermenting black rice for ice cream and using Moroccan, Cambodian, and Turkish ingredients in his sweet stuff at Poppy. Check out his entirely-delicious-looking dessert menu after the jump. (He's also going to do a stage with Cree at Blackbird in Chicago soon, which he's excited about.) I bet if you and your sweetheart got to Poppy right when they open at 5:30, you could get seats at the bar and enjoy the probably phenomenal dessert thali for two. Or just take your own damn self and eat it all up.
dessert choices $8
chocolate banana cake with pineapple, lime and kamut pepper ice cream
carrot cake tart with coconut ice cream
hot date cake with butterscotch, pecans and coffee ice cream
blood orange semifreddo with clove caramel and orange meringue
japanese cheesecake with passion fruit sabayon and matcha crumble
ice cream choices $6
chocolate malt sundae
curry leaf ice cream with caramel and pepitas
black rice and ginger ice cream with satsuma and osmanthus syrup
burnt honey and urfa biber toffee with dried fruits
ras-el-hanout orange sorbet with caramel corn
sweet thali for two $16
one dessert choice
one ice cream choice
concord grape and rosemary pâtes de fruit
chocolate mint cookie crunch
mango lime marshmallows