As a kid, one of the more bizarre but delicious snacks I favored was a banana cut up and spread with peanut butter. There was something wonderful about the combination of the salty gooeyness of the peanut butter combined with the sweet fruitiness of the banana.
As a grad student often working from a tight budget, I’ve rediscovered this tasty snack, loving it not only for its flavor combo, but also for the protein and potassium punch it packs. (Apologies to anti-alliterationists.)
Eel sushi, however, was never really in the picture. Until, of course, New York City gave the combo some thought.
One of the things I love best about cuisines in larger cities– and in NYC especially –is the irreverence that chefs bring to their food. Pine needle in your cucumber? Sure! Lavender in your mashed potatoes? Why not! Someone somewhere, it seems, is always having a flavor epiphany.
And at the restaurant Ginger, someone had it about eel. This East Village restaurant recently delivered take-out sushi to a friend’s apartment, so I can’t wax poetic about their location or their interior (though I can direct you to a blog that has). I can, however, tell you about the one roll that I can’t stop talking about.
The Golden roll, as I believe it’s called, features cooked eel and banana wrapped in the typical rice and seaweed, topped with a little dab of peanut butter. Just as the banana balanced the peanut butter in my childhood snack, the eel comes into this combination with a rich and smoky flavor that unites the two other ingredients.
It sounds bizarre, I know, but the result is something amazing. (There is, of course, the “Aaron Burr” effect, but it’s nothing that a glass of your favorite sake or champagne can’t wash down.)
Ginger109 1st Ave
(between 6th St & 7th St)
New York, NY 10003