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Another Way for Folks on Rocky Top to Get Their Corn

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 20, 2007 4:00PM

2007_02_batter1.jpgSharp eyes around these parts may have noticed a lack of restaurant reviews lately. That's because it's been cold, y'all. This recent spate of bad weather has reacquainted us with the simplicity of making pancakes. It's even easier when you're working from a pre-made mix.

During our weekly visit to Lush Wine & Spirits this weekend, we picked up a twenty-ounce bag of pancake mix from the Sour Mash Bourbon Bread Company, a company co-founded by Nacional 27 general manager and sommelier Adam Seger. Seger's known for making his own syrups from red and white wines, making his own bitters, and using seasonal ingredients in his drinks. It's an approach to mixology honed during his stay at Thomas Keller's French Laundry. We missed Seger's pancake clinic earlier in the day, but the store was still draped in the unmistakable aroma of sour mash. The primary ingredients in the mix are soft winter wheat flour and sour mash distiller flour. The latter is a mix of dried corn, malted barley, and rye, mixed with distilled Kentucky limestone water.

2007_02_batter3.jpgFollowing the instructions on the package, we added one cup of pancake mix to a beaten mixture of one egg and a half-cup of milk, and ladled the mix into an oiled skillet. The label on the mix boasts this mix as "the breakfast of conquerors"; three pancakes contain "more carbohydrates, twice the protein, and double the dietary fiber than one cup of Wheaties." So we made six. Bourbon conjures up darker, richer flavors to our nose and palate. When the pancakes were ready, we served them up with some heated tupelo honey (complementing the sour mash flour), copious amounts of butter, hickory smoked bacon, and tomorrow's "beer of the week" selection.

We placed a quick call to Seger at Nacional 27 last night, raving about the mix. He said that, in addition to finding the mix at Lush (at around $6 a bag), the sour mash pancakes are also on the menu at the Einhorn-owned Twisted Spoke. This mix is made for experimentation. It can complement richer fruit like black cherries, peaches, and blackberries for crepes. You can make medallion-sized mini-cakes, serve them with raspberry-whipped creme fraiche, or thicken the mixture and make some powerful, biscuit-thick griddle cakes. Sour Mash Pancake Mix is also available via phone order by calling 502-426-7477.