Talking SCHOP! This with that

Now that summer is settling in and we have celebrated our country’s independence, it is time to create some seasonal moments and take part in events around Harlem, the city, the state and the tristate area, for that matter. No, we cannot take part in it all, but we can do our best to try.

Last week I attended the first of a food series at the Museum of the City of New York (@MuseumOfCityNY, 1220 Fifth Ave., www.mcny.org) called Unexpected Pairings. It brings food and beverage makers together to discuss what they do, how they do it and of course to eat and drink it.

The first event, Gin & Oysters, brought together Tom Potter, co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery and New York Distilling Company (@NYDistilling), and Murray Fisher, the creator of Billion Oyster Project (@BillionOyster) working to clean New York City harbors. The panel was moderated by Lauren Wilson, editor of Edible Manhattan magazine.

Together, the dais took us on a journey back in time when oysters were abundant in and a source of food from NYC’s harbors, and the juniper-infused medicinal spirit made its way to the states from the Dutch as “genever” by way of the English made “gin.” Both were integral to the city’s preservation and culture.

I was fascinated to hear again of the work Billion Oyster Project is doing to replace these important sustainable mollusk ecosystems to our waters. Specifically, in the wake of hurricane Sandy, the organization conducted a study unveiling how the loss of oyster reefs in the last century has left our shores vulnerable to the ravages of the ocean.

Potter told us the term “proof” we use today to measure the amount of alcohol derives from the transport of gin from England to the states. Because it was stored in gunpowder on ships, the alcohol level had to be high so in case the bottle broke the gunpowder would not be lost. Before ships could pull out of the harbor they would need to show proof by lighting it. Crazy, right?

After the discussion we headed to the terrace where Brooklyn Oyster Party (@BKOysterParty) were serving freshly shucked Fishers Island oysters to pair with three gins from NY Distilling Company: Chief Gowanus New Netherland, Perry’s Tot Navy Strength and Dorothy Parker American. Together the brininess of the oyster and the herbaceous and floral notes of the gin played well together, although I will pair a gin cocktail next time.

July 19, the next Unexpected Pairings event is Beer & Chocolate with Julian Riley of Harlem Blue Beer and Jessica Spaulding of Harlem Chocolate Company, moderated by yours truly. Visit the museum’s site for more information and to purchase tickets. I look forward to seeing you there.

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!