Why do I deeply trust anything suggested by my friend Nicole Taylor, food writer, host of Heritage Radio Network’s “Hot Grease”, and food justice activist? Because during a recent visit to New York City, she told me to check out Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus, Brooklyn, because she knows I love pie.
The shop’s website (www.birdsblack.com) gave directions for subway travelers, so we headed for the F train on a recent sunny afternoon and found our way to 439 3rd Avenue, a white-painted brick building at 8th Street. No wonder so many people were waiting in line for the pies made by Emily and Melissa Elsen. No wonder Nicole Taylor gave me her advice to make the trip. Do the same if and when you can.
Buttermilk Chess Pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Get in line (it goes fast) and either make wise choices, or do as we three did: order all five pies they were serving that day.
We did just that, and given the distance between Piedmont North Carolina and Gowanus, Brooklyn, I’m so glad we did.
Pie doesn’t need to be Southern to be fantastic and worth a journey to get it. The Elsen sisters know just what to do to make pie magic at Four & Twenty Blackbirds. Of course, they are originally from SOUTH Dakota. Just sayin’.
Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds
The Elsen sisters of Four & Twenty Blackbirds have shared the recipe for their extraordinarily wonderful Salty Honey Pie in this February 2011 story by Lisa M. Collins in the South Brooklyn Post:
Why not stir up and bake yourself a Salty Honey Pie, and then sit and read Sandra Nygaard’s fine feature story (South Brooklyn Post, March 20, 2011) for deep dish on Four & Twenty Blackbirds, what it’s like and how it grew?
To follow Nicole Taylor, you’ve got four options:
1) her weekly radio broadcast/podcasts (http://www.heritageradionetwork.com/programs/23-Hot-Grease)
2) on Facebook (@ Food Culturist )
3) on Twitter (@foodculturist) and
4) at her website (http://www.foodculturist.com/).