You know a recipe is good when each of its elements are irresistible on their own, and yet compliment one another well. Like with this poached pear and brown butter tart. Kasey prepared more poached pears than necessary for the recipe, and her parents, grandfather and I kept snatching extra little slices of pear because it was just too good to waste. The crust for this recipe is tried and true, and just tastes wonderful. And custard is always a treat in my book – baked or otherwise. Of course, it is as hard to find this winning combination of perfect ingredients in the world of music as it is in the culinary world. And I can think of only a few other bands/groups in the world that can be said to contain that perfect combination of ingredients as well as the Beastie Boys. After all, it would be depressing to imagine the Beasties without Ad Rock, MCA or Mick D. And the album where their style comes together most perfectly? Paul’s Boutique, of course.
Of course, Paul’s Boutique wasn’t initially recognized as the classic it is widely viewed as today. Originally released as the group’s first album on Capitol Records in 1989 – it was initially considered a commercial failure. Nonetheless, the album did reach gold status in September of the year it was released and even reached double platinum in 1999. The Beastie’s lyrics on Paul’s Boutique are the group’s very best, featuring hilarious word play, razor sharp wit, and extensive name dropping including the likes of Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, and Japanese baseball player/coach Sadaharu Oh. Of course, the album is as notable for the Beastie Boys’ raps as it is for the Dust Brothers’ inventive, innovative use of extensive sampling that is only rivaled in its excess by a Girl Talk album. In fact, it is an interesting piece of trivia to note that Paul’s Boutique contains 105 samples (24 on the final cut alone) including: Elvis Costello, The Ramones, The Beatles, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Pink Floyd, Jackson 5, Led Zepplin, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper and waaay more. This is one of the greatest albums of all time and you can pick up the remastered vinyl at Amazon.
The Beastie Boys – What Comes Around (MP3 removed by request)
Head back to eating/sf to read Kasey’s recipe for poached pear and brown butter tart.