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As Emily Fleischaker points out in this article from Bon Appetit, we go to restaurants to eat food that we can't make at home. And, I'd like to add, because every once in a while you order something that totally reimagines what you thought food was supposed to be. The radishes with butter and salt at the NoMad Hotel are exactly that edge case.
Butter is gently tempered -- melted slowly to stay creamy instead of liquifying -- and liberally salted, then one by one the baby radishes are dipped whole into the butter and left to set. The result solves a dilemma that has faced Francophile radish-and-butter eaters since the dawn of time: how do you make sure you have a little bit of butter with every bite of radish? Problem solved.
Butter-covered radishes...kind of like chocolate-covered strawberries, right? Just for fun, we put the choice between the two "something-covered somethings" up to our staff and got the following results. Just warning you, it gets a little contentious!
Amanda: Please don't ever put chocolate near my strawberries. No wire hangers!
Merrill: Anyone ever tried radishes dipped in chocolate?
Nozlee: I'm 100% in the butter-covered radish camp.
Kristy: Team Radish!
Peter: I come from a split household. My sweet tooth says strawberries and chocolate but we served radishes and butter at our wedding per my wife's request. Hmmm... has anyone thought of buttering their chocolate?
Jennifer: Second for Team Radish!
Stephanie: Even I'm in the radish camp on this one. And we all know how I feel about chocolate.
Kristen: Sorry, team radish, you New York Elites. Team strawberry FTW -- and we all know how I feel about butter.
Amanda Li: Radish is a vegetable. Therefore, I'm team Choco Strawberry.
Jenny: Isn't this a little like asking, "Would you prefer to lie on a beach and have no one talk to you, or go to a beautiful mountain and have no one talk to you?" Both are great, but totally different.
We're not really sure who the winner is here, but I think the Jenny-ism says it all.
You *Can* Judge a Radish by Its Cover from Bon Appetit
Photograph by Matt Duckor