Unfamiliar businesses sometimes offer too many temptations to choose from. At bakeries, in the absence of other compelling intel, usually I'm partial to the pastries that are selling fastest. As with éclairs, so with these curados, which were prepared from a spirit called pitorro — in particular, the rightmost two jugs. One had been infused with Cafe Bustelo, the other, with "regular American" coffee, according to the counterwoman. Which would you reckon was more enticing, the half-full jug scented with an aromatic dark roast, or its nearly full companion whose long-undisturbed cap required a helping hand to open?
In its native Puerto Rico, where pitorro is often concocted on the q.t., "moonshine rum" is a common moniker. At this Bronx business, pitorro is produced on the up-and-up; indeed, since the makers are licensed as a farm distillery, they are required to use New York State corn, apples, and honey, in combination with brown sugar. That in-state pedigree comes with a privilege that surprised me on a Saturday afternoon (one recent summer, photo below): the right to offer tastings of distilled spirits at an outdoor farmers market.
Port Morris Distillery
780 East 133rd St. (Willow-Walnut Aves.) Port Morris, Bronx
Closed Monday and Tuesday