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Maybe, In Heaven, All the Toothpicks Taste Like Single Malt Scotch

Maybe, In Heaven, All the Toothpicks Taste Like Single Malt Scotch

Maybe, In Heaven, All the Toothpicks Taste Like Single Malt Scotch

“Provisions For Men” is how STAG describes what they sell, although I’m guessing that’s more a ploy toward attracting customers of any sex or gender seeking a certain classic style of masculinity – of which scotch-flavored toothpicks might be a worthy example of the myriad details pertaining thereunto.

Y’know?

I mean, of course STAG mostly sells clothing and other fashionable gear for gentlemen – “And, by gentlemen,” runs the provisioners’ welcoming spiel, “we don’t just mean the Cary Grant sort of gent. We include style icons like Steve McQueen, James Dean, Keith Richards, and Willie Nelson into that definition as well,” which, as empirical evidence insists, is perfectly true – but this particular post?

It’s all about the wood.

Ah, the toothpicks, that is.

(Although, speaking of wood, and speaking of hard-drinking popcult heroes, and speaking of STAG … it’s no surprise that one of the finest works on display at last week’s Tequila Herradura Barrel Art competition at Brazos Hall was fashioned from nothing but that noble material by a man who’s provided many of STAG’s tonier interior appointments. David Clark of Kartwheel is the man whose totally gorgeous chair – created from Herradura barrel staves – didn’t win this year’s battle (the winner was that talented VM Fisk) but did win the part of my soul that covets the finest intersection of simplicity and elegance when it comes to furniture. Which is why, when you’re walking around STAG itself, you may find yourself inquiring who built those perfect shelves, who’s responsible for the display case that’s a paragon of the woodcrafter’s art near the leather wallets?)

The toothpicks, from Daneson up in Canada, come in a variety – much like the variety recently sent to the Chronicle offices for testing.

(Note: I’m testing them now, even as I type.)

First, you’ve got to think: Jesus, now there’s artisanal fucking toothpicks? Like, a fat splinter of scrap wood was good enough for my grandpappy, but I’ve got to have some kind of fancy-ass tapered micro-cylinders of northern white birch that taste faintly of single-malt scotch or cinnamon-and-mint or salt or, or, or some intriguing blend of bourbon and spice?

And then you’ve got to think: You know, why the hell not?

Because if God is in the details, certainly a detail like what kind of sliver of wood you’re gonna pick your teeth with or just kinda chomp distractedly on one end of while the rest of it’s sticking out from between your lips in a sort of vintage thug-in-a-speakeasy fashion … certainly a detail like that is no less holy, n’est-ce pas?

So: These toothpicks come 12 at a time, each dozen in a small Daneson-branded brownglass test tube that’s been corked & sealed. As noted above, they’re sturdy, tapered microcylinders of northern white birch; and their taste is not overpowering at all (unlike those cinnamon toothpicks from back in gradeschool days, always the rumor of that one kid who chewed too many & had to go to the emergency room with a chemically burned mouth, remember?). The taste is understated, it’s subtle, kind of like the ghost of an Islay single-malt haunting your mouth, the hint of a salt mine on your palate, the faintest whisper of cinnamon evoking exotic nights in some Sri Lankan bungalow. Sophisticated, right?

 

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