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Posted by on Feb 2, 2007 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

Gold dust brownie

(Sign of the Apocalypse #38 at The Reaction.) 

Need something to go with that $1,000 mint julep? How about a $1,000 brownie?

Yes, you read that correctly — a $1,000 brownie. And you can get it in Atlantic City.

Although it really wouldn’t go well with the julep. For it isn’t just your basic brownie. It’s “a brownie with hazelnuts imported from Italy, topped with gold dust, served with a vintage port wine in a $750 Baccarat crystal that the dessert-eater gets to keep as a souvenir.”

So, really, you’re paying for the crystal. And the port. In fact, the port comes in the crystal, and, well, uh, here’s how the chef, Jemal Edwards, describes the experience: “You have this beautiful atomizer filled with the finest port known to man. You take a bite of the brownie, and as the flavors are coating your palate, your partner squirts the port onto your tongue. The acidity and sweetness from the port are hitting your mouth at the same time.”

Ah. Right. Of course. I’m sure it’s wonderful. And it all makes sense. (Except the hyperbole: “the finest port known to man”? I’m sure it’s not.) But $1,000?

The natural human desire to acquire, as Machiavelli understood, truly knows no bounds. But it is also — and this brownie is but a symptom of the deeper problem — leading us towards the Apocalypse.

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  • DBK

    As an honest to goodness foodie (I have foodie street cred, bitches, including my cooking lessons at La Mirande in Avignon, France…so BACK OFF).

    Where was I?

    Oh, right. It seems to me that what we have here is a brownie that is expensive for the sake of being expensive. Nobody says anything about how it tastes, just about the gold dust and the port and the crystal. Now I have Reidel port glasses (thank you, Mrs DBK) and I have tasted port in some mighty expensive crystal, and I can report that the far less expensive Reidel glasses (less than the $750 for the Baccarat crystal), is a superior experience. As for the port itself, I would be curious as to which port it is. There is a huge difference from port to port and from year to year. I have had a relatively minor 1984 porto that was stunningly good. I’ve got a 1985 Real Companha Velha in the wine cellar right now that I am keeping corked until 2010. I’ve had the 1972 Taylor-Fladgate and that was also remarkable. However, I digress.

    The Baccarat crystal is not worth it. The fact remains that there are better glasses in terms of the flavor of port. Eating gold dust is definitely not worth it. I have eaten foods dusted with gold and I find the gold dust pretentious without adding any real, visual significance. The port may be one of the finest in the world, in which case I am all for it, but I don’t believe it is worth the price.

    In sum, the $1000 brownie is not about value. It is not about experiencing the best. I could put you onto the best brownie in the world with the best port and the best visual appeal for probably a quarter of what they want for that brownie. That brownie is about showing off. That’s brownie for Donald Trump, but not for Alton Brown. It is a brownie of form, not substance. I spit on their brownie. I pee in the butter of their brownie. I reject their brownie and its message of excessive consumption without value. Their brownie is a degenerate brownie. It is not the brownie of the people.

    When the revolution comes, we will all eat fudge.

  • Rudi

    I bet the brownie tastes even better if you can step over the homeless as you enter the building.

  • DBK

    They don’t even tell you if the port is tawny or vintage. I add that because I was just thinking about a Burgmeister tawny I had that I discussed afterwards with the manager of a bar at a hotel in the Algarve (southern Portuguese coast). I hadn’t much cared for tawnies before that wine and it converted me to tawny. Anyway, he and I were chatting away and he offered this: “The best tawny? It isn’t about the wine. The best tawny is the one you share with your friends after a good meal and you finish the bottle together and spend the whole evening laughing about nothing.” That matched my perception and is the mark of the true foodie. True foodies are not food snobs because they know the best food is shared with the people you enjoy.

    So much for the $1000 brownie.

  • S1000 for a gold dust brownie?
    Hmm, and how much for a gold dust woman?

  • Lynx

    Taken in the context of the post above, where minimum wage will be raised to 7.25$ an hour, this kind of news is actually kind of sickening.

    What’s the main course? Hearts of the firstborn children of the dishwashers in the restaurant’s kitchen?

  • Starving children, anyone?

  • Sam

    There are people for whom money means nothing. They walk down the street and everything they see is effectively free. With that in mind, there are entrepeneurs who cater to this, hence we have cars that cost in excess of $1 million, and $1000 brownies. I think the filthy rich need to pay $1000 for brownies if that what it takes to get their money back in circulation. Let them buy $100 plain white tee-shirts from Neiman Marcus while they are at it.

    There will always be people with more money than any of the rest of us will ever see, and there will always be starving children as well.

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