What We're Craving Now: Smart Sweets

Steve Schimoler is not into gastronomical excess. But he’ll never shortchange you on flavor. So, at Crop, his West Sixth Street restaurant, Schimoler concocts low-fat, low-sugar options so yummy, you’ll never realize you’re eating at a health-food place. As he removes sugar, salt or fat from a recipe, Schimoler replaces it ”with an experience,“ he says. “Fat is creating a force field on your palette,” Schimoler explains. “When we reduce the fat, it opens up the window for all this other flavor to come pouring through. ”His hot coffee ice cream substitutes 2 percent milk for cream. Fewer eggs are supplemented by a refined cornstarch. And the “distractionary flavors,” as Schimoler calls them, come from generous portions of freeze-dried espresso and a sensate liquid distilled from peppers. It warms like a shot of bourbon as it slides down your gullet. It all makes for a dessert that’s surprising, tantalizing and missing nothing, as far as you know. It’s Schimoler’s little secret.“We have a responsibility as chefs and restaurateurs … to be more accountable to health and wellness and nutrition.” If only all responsibilities could be so delectable. 1400 W. Sixth St., Cleveland, 216-696-2767, cropbistro.com

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