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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, April 24

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Drink Tue Jan 24 2012

Na Zdrowie!

I'm Russian ("What!?" they gasp, fumbling over my last name) and should, at least in theory, be able to handle my proverbial vodka-related sh*t. That said, most vodkas, served straight, taste like gasoline to me (sorry, heritage). At family gatherings, I stare down chilled shots of vodka before downing them, while my folks casually sip. But! I am now able to hang. I am proud to announce that I have discovered Żubrówka.

Żubrówka is a Polish (sometimes Belarusian) vodka, distilled with bison grass, which, when bottled "properly," comes with a small thin blade of buffalo grass. It tastes like candy, really, incredibly smooth, with definite traces of vanilla and spice. I am imagining myself now, with a glass of Żubrówka on the rocks in hand. Instead, I am fantasizing about liquor at work.

zubrowka.jpgThe other day I mixed this wonder with some apple cider and accidentally stumbled upon an already loved cocktail-- Tatanka. Tatanka is simply Żubrówka and apple juice. I used cider, which I prefer, but either works well. Together the two taste like caramel apple pie (another name for this drink is "Szarlotka," a Polish apple pie). This mixture has also been called a Frisky Bison or a Polish Kiss... but Tatanka sounds so much nicer.

Please, do yourself a favor and try it (did you get that? It's just apple juice/cider and Żubrówka)! You live in Chicago, you're very lucky to have Żubrówka in your life. In fact, for more information on why Żubrówka is not available in many locations without such a strong, Polish community please see this article, posted in the Wall Street Journal this time, last year.

You can find Żubrówka at any number of Chicago liquor stores-- with better luck on the Northwest side (read: Foremost Liquors. It should also be available at most Chicago Binny's locations.)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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