New York has long been a food capital, from the upscale kitchens of our finest restaurants to the bagels and sausages on the street corners. But as anyone who has walked around Brooklyn has figured out, the next chapter of New York’s food history has everything to do with the local, “artisanal” food scene that is making its mark on the city. From the rise of greenmarkets and food fairs to the focus on seasonal ingredients, these products embody a DIY ethos that New York City has had from the very beginning.
The New-York Historical Society’s Museum store is introducing it’s A Taste of New-York History collection of specialty foods produced in New York City and State, including jams, savory condiments, and chocolates. One of those vendors is The Good Batch. Started by Anna Gordon, The Good Batch is focused on making not-too-sweet treats like cookies, bars, and classic Dutch stroopwafels. We spoke with Anna about learning to bake, her love for Brooklyn, and why she won’t compromise on making fresh products.
When did you first start baking growing up? How did you decide that making sweet treats was what you wanted to do for a living?
One of your most unique treats are your stroopwafels, a classic Dutch treat that is totally addictive. (Sidenote: the first time I went to Amsterdam I bought a whole bunch to take home and they didn’t last the plane ride.) What made you decide New York needed some homemade stroopwafels?
Your cookies seem to have no artificial ingredients or preservatives in them. Why do you think that’s important?
Do you have any plans to open a storefront?
In the past few years, Brooklyn has seen a renaissance of independent food makers. Do you feel like you’re part of a greater movement in food?
Any tips for at-home bakers?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, stray from a recipe with your own ideas, and trust your gut. Pastry and baking have such a bad rap for being very precise and unforgiving, and while there is some truth in that, especially in comparison to making a pot of marinara sauce, there is still so much room for play.