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I cracked open my bag of Community Coffee-Chickory Coffee this morning. The last time I had it was back in 1997 in NOLA when a guy named Joe Canizaro sold $140M worth of real estate in downtown NOLA to my client. But I digress....

Mr Mayhaw, I tried to raise this in your blog and think it was lost, but what exactly is chickory and why do y'all mix your coffee with it? When I tried it this AM, it was..well a little herbacaeous tasting. Not unpleasant by any means, just different. Can you 'splain?

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I hope that Joe bought a decent cup of coffee while you were here. That wouldn't have been the property in the Tchopitoulas Corridor (bordered by Race St and Annunciation) would it?

ANyway, back to the chicory- Chicory is another left over vestige of our French Roots (as opposed to our Spanish, British, and African roots-we have a lot of roots as they are supporting a pretty damn big tree :wacko: ). It was a popular in coffee in France about the time we were under French rule and it seems to have kind of stuck here. Community, CDM, French Market, etc. all sell dark roasted coffee with chicory and they sell alot of it. Coffee consumed in New Orleans by natives tends to be dark roast with an addition of chicory out of local preference. Even in nearby Acadiana (Lafayette area) you will see most people drinking dark roast, but without the addtion of chicory.

Chicory, incidentally, is the stalk of the endive plant and I could be wrong but I believe that the sources for it are mostly imported.

I don't drink it very often. I like my coffee strong and black-but not chicory. My father always said, "If I wanted my coffee to taste like it had boiled acorns in it, I would go out and rake the yard." I have to say that I kinda agree with him.

Interesting little piece on Chicory in the Coffee review

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Interesting. I always thought chickory was originally used to stretch the coffee. There wasn't a lot of money, and people would add the chickory to the coffee to make it last longer. Cajuns/Creoles weren't the only ones to do this. In a lot of the Western books chickory is mentioned often on the cattle drives. Seems that most folks didn't care for it, and when they could do away with it, they would. Louisiana just doesn't do away with things -- we hold onto them to remember and honor the past. :cool:

I drink Community -- the Special Cafe Blend is good, but most often I buy the Dark Roast, while at the office we drink Community New Orleans Blend (chickory).

In an article in a local magazine, Union Coffee was favored by the marjority of New Orleans coffee drinkers, reportedly, for the best coffee/chickory blend. It stated that Community used a medium roast in its chickory blend, while Union was strong and dark. I've never had Union, but I'm going to pick up a pkg next time I'm out grocery shopping. However, I foresee a cold day in Hades before I give up Community Coffee :raz:

Rhonda

-----------

Edited because I didn't proofread :unsure:

Edited by NolaFoodie (log)
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Actually the Chicory thing became popular during the Civil War, as to whether it originated in France I am unsure, although the Endive plant itself is an import from Belgium and was cultivated successfully in America starting in the late 1700's. During the Civil War coffee was either cut with ground up dried endive stalks or replaced with chickory entirely because coffee supplies were so low. The troops either got a 'takin to it or got used to it.

Now, the Cafe Du Monde website says "French Civil War"

The taste for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. Coffee was scarce during those times, and they found that chicory added body and flavor to the brew. The Acadians from Nova Scotia brought this taste and many other french customs (heritage) to Louisiana. Chicory is the root of the endive plant. Endive is a type of lettuce. The root of the plant is roasted and ground. It is added to the coffee to soften the bitter edge of the dark roasted coffee. It adds an almost chocolate flavor to the Cafe Au Lait served at Cafe Du Monde.

But I've seen various specials on the History Channel and such that say that it started during OUR civil war. Either way, it was a military necessity that popularized it.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Just curious - what percentage of chicory should be added to ground coffee is one is doing custome blending at home?

Well, in the Civil War they went as high as 100 percent chickory. :laugh: I would say 20 percent to start.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Just curious - what percentage of chicory should be added to ground coffee is one is doing custome blending at home?

IMHO-none :raz::laugh:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I think it actually adds a nice flavor to stuff like Cafe au Lait and Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Chickory actually is milled and made into a sugar of sorts in some countries -- it contains a very sweet sucrose-like compound.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I like it in Vietnamese coffee as well, I just don't care for it much in a stand alone brew. On the other hand, if I liked plenty of milk in my coffee I might like it more, but I prefer it black (or pretty close to it-maybe just a tiny bit of cream).

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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First off, can somebody edit my spelling of "chicory" in the title?

I had another cup this AM and figured out what I was tasting: tastes like a cigar and coffee, not the cigar soot, but the tabacco flavor you get when the wrapper starts to fall apart from your saliva.

Mayhaw Man, Joe Canizaro didn't buy me anything. But he did send a car to pick up his lawyer to take him out to dinner whilst we suffered away at getting the deal signed up. It was indeed the Tchopitoulas property and another large office building. When we closed the deal in Chigago a few months later, our local New Orleans lawyer later told me that Joe offered him a hitch back from Chicago to NOLA on his private jet, which they guy accepted. Said they celebrated the closing all the way back w/ Dom Perignon and "the biggest shrimp" he ever saw.

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If you wanted to make your own C&C blend at home, use @ 20%-30% chicory. I don't care for the product, but it is part of our culture that we'll never shake. I accept that.

Now that Community New Orleans Blend is 50% chicory, I'm told. Sorry, that's just pathetic. I don't wan't to "dis" anybody's taste, but that stuff is just nasty. Just don't know why anyone would want to drink that stuff, unless you grew up on it, or grew up in "da parish," or "down the bayou."

Some people say that it makes the coffee bitter, some say it makes the coffee less bitter. I think they're both right. I brewed a pot of straight chicory once. Jeez Louise! It's both bitter and sweet. Not sugary sweet, but it's a smooth mouthfeel.

Anyway.......Joe

You gonna eat that?

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