Today, we stop by Bklyn Larder, the Park Slope provisions and prepared foods shop spawned by the Franny’s crew, to chat with general manager Tim Solomon.
So Tim, what’s good today?
If I had to pick one thing, it’d be our gelato. We’ve been working on a few new flavors for a little while now, and we’ve finally gotten them finished. I think they’re really great.
We make our gelatos right here. We start with grass fed milk from pastured cows at Ithaca Farms upstate, whole fresh cream from Battenkill Valley dairy, also upstate, and sugar. We build all our flavors on top of the base we make with those ingredients.
We’ve got three new flavors, and I think the greek yogurt one might be my favorite. It’s amazing – probably one of the best ones we’ve done. And it’s really simple. We use Fage whole fat greek yogurt. We blend it with the milk, cream and sugar base and that’s pretty much it. It’s not a sweet gelato. It’s much more tangy, tart and cheese-like in flavor than it is sweet, and it has a super-nice creamy texture to it. All of our gelatos do. It’s great with berries. You can still get all kinds of berries at the markets right now – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries…It’s just phenomenal with anything like that.
We also have a sesame flavor. We add tahini to the base, so it’s got that savory, nutty, smooth sesame flavor, and we make a sesame brittle that we mix into it, which adds some nice sweetness and crunch. But it’s not overly sweet. The sesame flavor is what really comes through. It’s delicious, and there’s something that’s great about it at this time of year. Not sure what – sesame just seems to be a perfect flavor for late summer.
The last new flavor is the cherry. We use Amarena Fabbri cherries, which are these amazing wild cherries from the Emilia-Romagna area of Italy. They’re both sweet and have a really nice bitterness, and they’re preserved in a thick syrup made with the juice of the cherries. They have a really complex, really delicious flavor, and they’re great on pretty much anything. We do carry them separately in the store in case you want to try them on their own. In the gelato, we add some kirsch to the base. The kirsch is made with dark sour whole cherries. It’s not sweet. It’s got these complex cherry and bitter almond flavors, and a sharp little alcohol kick. It works great with the creamy base and the Amarena Fabbri cherries.
This all sounds great. I’m curious – how did you end up here, managing Bklyn Larder?
I grew up in Dothan, Alabama in the very southeast corner of the state. Eventually I moved to Birmingham, and from there I came up to New York. When I got here, I worked at Murray’s Cheese for about four years, first as an assistant manager at the Grand Central location and then as the manager of the Bleeker Street store. I became interested in doing something a little bit smaller, getting in at the beginning and seeing how a business like this is built form the ground up. I had met Sergio Hernandez, one of the owners here, through a mutual friends, and so I moved here from Murrays. I’ve been here since day one. I love it here.
Bklyn Larder is located at 228 Flatbush Ave., between Bergen and St. Marks, on the border of Park Slope and Prospect Heights.
Photography by Heather Phelps Lipton.