When most people taste something extraordinarily good at a new eatery for the first time, it’s usually expected for them to exclaim one or all of the following:
“This IS better than sex!”
“I want more!”
“I could eat this for every meal and it would never bore me.”
When I feast my eyes and tongue upon an eatery I have not yet frequented my typical reaction involves more of a structural one. I analyze not only the outside of the establishment but how the inside will serve as a décolleté for the food in which I will be consuming. If your ambiance doesn’t match your flavor, well, then, you get an F for fu..fudge…
My food critique usually involves more work than it took for Christopher Columbus to discover that the world is indeed round and not flat. Being a food analyst, presentation isn’t as important as the taste itself. (Food is just like people FYI… it can be pretty on the outside but taste ugly on the inside.)
My most recent off day escapade involved a quaint vegetarian/vegan spot in a local town near my house called Warwick. It’s kind of a village meets suburbia type feel with a twinge of cutting edge and country thrown into the mix.
The town of Warwick is much like any other villagey type place you’d pass through. It has a myriad of eateries, small shops and businesses all along the “main strip” and a few gems hidden behind some old oaks on the side streets.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Conscious Fork, a vegan/vegetarian joint in the town of Warwick. It’s so inconspicuous that you wouldn’t even notice it if it weren’t for the colorful signage outside.
I came here with my cousin and since we are both locavores and all about knowing where your food comes from, we decided to take a stab at this place. I mean with a name like Conscious Fork it was practically beckoning for us to come on in.
We each had a veggie bowl with a fresh-pressed juice which was super awesome and grounding followed by the feature of the day…COCONUT MACAROONS.
Okay, let’s make one thing clear…I HATE MACAROONS. I think they belong in a Willy Wonka movie for show ONLY. One bite can send someone straight into a sugar coma!
My cousin insisted on us trying both kinds…they had cocoa and vanilla. They looked harmless enough and best of all I wasn’t able to see specks of sugar flying about. I asked the cashier what they were made with and everything was identifiable and pronounceable so it passed the Christy test.
We purchased three macaroons- one vanilla, two cocoa.
Seriously…my tastebuds have never tasted something so divine. It was similar to my euphoric chocolate experiences. The taste idled in my mouth for minutes. I did indeed want more like a typical diner’s response, but more than that, I wanted to recreate it. Yes.
Once the macaroons were finished and the sea of saliva ceased, I ran home and raided the kitchen for ingredients. This is what I came up with…and yeah, it was pretty darn close to the real thangs!!!
Vanilla Coconut Macaroons
2 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut +1/4 to roll balls in
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. vanilla almond milk
3 tbsp. maple syrup
I used a food processor. Basically, I added in the shredded coconut and coconut oil first. The batter becomes thick so the almond milk is needed next to make it more viscous. (you can eyeball it if it’s too liquid-y or thick and adjust measurements based on that too) I added the maple syrup, cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla extract last. I then rolled them into balls and dipped them into shredded coconut. Recipe yields about 6 golf ball sized macaroons. Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour for optimal taste.
What has been your macaroon experience? Do you prefer eating locally or at a chain restaurant?
Peace, love and macaroons!