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Flavor Patrol: Not Your Mother’s Lassi

Leah Koenig - June 2014

Seattle—The London Plane, the newest outpost of Seattle’s seasonal-chef wunderkind, Matt Dillon, offers a range of elemental, produce-centric dishes. Among them is a lassi that weaves Pacific Northwest flavors (read: not mango!) into the classic Indian yogurt drink. According to chef de cuisine Emily Crawford, who developed the recipe, their pear/bay lassi starts with house-made yogurt blended with whey (“leftover from when we make labneh”), a dash of cardamom, and simple syrup steeped with pear and bay leaves. It’s at once cooling and vibrant, the exact locus where tart meets sweet. As Seattle’s late-winter weather gives way to sunshine, the lassi’s flavor will change. Crawford envisions an apple/hazelnut/cinnamon combination as a send-off to last autumn’s stored apple crop before the stone fruits and berries of summer reach their peak.