I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Peanut Gallery: the Nutropolitan Museum of Art at OpenHouse

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: My Art History minor was only good for a GPA booster

 Its like the Metropolitan, but with less naked people!

I minored in Art History for actual interest, not because I was under the illusion that Art History was a piece of cake. Thinking Art History is an easy subject is like thinking Family Guy is still funny: you are just fooling yourself. It sounds easy right? I mean you sit there and look at pictures for a good hour and a half and if you are lucky, the seats are comfortable and a great place to sleep and plus, if you are a guy the ratio of guys to girls in an Art History class is very much so in your favor. I wish it was that easy, try memorizing like, 70 images with dates, names, artists, periods and the little subtle details about them. That was hard and I never picked up any girls in my class. Thankfully, I was able to utilize some Rain Man like abilities and utilized my remembering skills and used it as a GPA booster in college. Who would ever think that my love for a food, such as peanut butter would collide, or sandwich together? (I apologize for that bad and forced pun)When I heard about the the Nutropolitan Museum of Art popping up this weekend, I was very interested in going. I mean, peanut butter, one of my favorite sandwich spreads and art that is inspired by said spread? I am in. 

 Gallery, people not included

In honor of national Peanut Month (Since apparently every food has a day and month, anyone care to inform me of national Durian Day?) the Nutropolitan Museum of Art is a pop up gallery that was open from March 4th to the 6th. The Peanut Butter themed gallery came from Lee Zalben, owner of Peanut Butter & Company located right here in New York City. Peanut Butter & Co. not only makes smooth and crunchy peanut butter, but making variations such as Maple peanut butter, Dark Chocolate peanut butter and my personal favorite, the Cinnamon Raisin peanut butter spread that has actual raisins. Not only are they making flavor enticing spreads, they are also creating sandwiches which is the theme of this gallery. Zalben challenge himself to create a new peanut butter sandwich for everyday of the year, giving that I can only think of a few, and the majority is changing up the serving platform. Paired with food stylist, Patty White, and photographer Theresa Raffetto the food gallery was born for a weekend only.


The Peanut Butter gallery was fun and whimsical. I was not expecting some Dada, Romanticism art (pulling out the terms) but it was amusing to see the peanut butter sandwich creations. It was a good thing this was a laid back event, because I left my thesis on why chunky peanut butter is far more superior to smooth peanut butter. This was food pornography taken to a very classy and family friendly standard. Emphasis on the family friendly for the meet a peanut farmer segments and creating peanut butter art, which I am sad to say that I missed, due to limited time. Also a plus, free jar of peanut butter for each family or in my case person that visits the gallery, a jar of peanut butter is also donated to Share our Strength, making you feel less guilty when you eat that jar of peanut butter with a spoon. 

 The King: Bacon, Bananas and Peanut Butter- Oh my heart!

Banana instead of a Hot dog, vegetarian friendly I guess? Wonder how that would taste with a Hebrew National in there 
How ironic would it be if Gogh had a peanut allergy?

Also at this event was Van Leeuween Ice Cream truck which was serving up some great treats. I am always missing the truck but I was happy to catch up with them and eat ice cream because I can eat it anytime. I do not care if I am sick, I am shivering cold, and I am stuck in a meat locker, anytime is a good time for ice cream. I am a firm believer that food should be eaten at anytime of the day and should not be time constricted to anytime of the day. If you want pancakes for dinner, damnit you fire that griddle and you make yourself some pancakes and watch your Cop Drama shows on CBS.

 Das Truck

Always a plus when the menu has pictures!
Van Leeuween is an Ice Cream truck that is not serving up Good Humor Bars and Firecracker Pops (I personally was a favorite of the bubblegum baseball mitt pop, the name of it escapes me). They are serving homemade artisan ice cream and bake goods of the highest quality. Although everyone raves about the purity of their vanilla ice cream, I had to pass that up for another time and go for their Gianduja, which is am a like a cheap date for. Gianduja is chocolate that has the addition of hazelnut paste in simple terms. Granted I love it and I will however probably never ever pronounce this right. It is like Qaddafi: there are 20 different spellings of this dude’s name. 

 Gianduja. In. the. belly. NOW.

The Gianduja that Van Leeuween uses is from chocolatier Michael Cluizel and it is divine. Texture is smooth and clean in flavor and delicately coats the tongue. I wanted to be a fat kid and get a stool and eat through their whole ice cream menu, yet I had to sample their other offers such as their fresh baked cookies. The cookies were still warm and I had their Ginger Spice and Chocolate Chip Cookie. 

 Ice Cream and cookies? What is yes, ill eat and have it all.

The Ginger Spice cookie had a nice sugar coating on the outside adding even more of a crunch factor to it. Biting into this chewy delight you get a lot of molasses flavor and the ginger comes in as an afterthought as well as the usual suspects of winter warmth spices. I personally liked this cookie but those that are not a fan of the cane sugar/syrup sugar molasses taste, might not be your kind of cookie. 

 Ginger Spice. Sparkles included.

The chocolate chip cookie was similar in texture in which it was a chewy and malleable cookie. You could wrap that cookie around a pole and not crack in half but it was still crispy on the outside.  This cookie has a strong molasses taste and the mix of chocolate chips from Michael Cluizel it was thankfully balanced. I would have liked a more buttery note to the cookie, but nonetheless a good cookie.

 Chocolate Chip Cookie

Stopping off and checking out the Nutropolitan Gallery was a fun experience. It was a good reminder that food should be fun. I do however do what to find or just make that Elvis peanut butter sandwich. You had me at bacon.

Peanut Butter & Co. 
240 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012

OpenHouse Gallery 
201 Mulberry Street
New York, NY

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