There are epicureans, then there are the epicurious, and fans of Brooklyn Nine-Nine can confidently categorise Charles Boyle as the latter. The detective moonlights as a culinary blogger, sharing his knowledge and passion – for better or worse – with the world. When his “guidance” enables Captain Ray Holt to make the “perfect” croque monsieur, Boyle declares himself Salieri, the composer who despised Mozart for outshining his every accomplishment.
Try this jamon croque monsieur from SBS Food
“Desserts don’t need to be clever, they just need to be good,” is one of the many mantras Charles shares with his colleagues. And in sharing the “best pie in New York City” he reveals that Argo’s Bakery (“founded in 1910”) makes an apple pie from a recipe unchanged since their opening day. While there are many moments of food glory (and ingloriousness, frankly), here are the moments that as foodies, we’ll remember most fondly.
Serious about sausage
Jake thinks he’s being taken out as a treat when Boyle offers to shout lunch at a Hungarian restaurant in New York. The specialty dish, “tal ezer kolbasz”, made entirely of sausages, is a tribute to manhood, according to Boyle.
Try this rakott krumpli, a Hungarian sausage dish, from SBS Food
Maple syrup… from Vermont
The best maple syrup comes from “Vermont… and Canada” says Boyle during breakfast with Jake and Vivian. Vivian has plans for she and Boyle to move to Canada, and while declaring that they’re both very happy to be moving across the border, Boyle diplomatically stuffs maple syrup into his mouth.
These banana hotcakes with maple syrup via SBS Food challenge any Canadian claim to supremacy
Sal’s might be an institution, but…
Boyle breaks it to Jake that Sal’s is only “the eighth best” pizza joint in New York City. His weekly “Brooklyn pizza-ranking email blast” reveals that Sal’s has the fourth best texture, ninth best crust, twelfth best cheese and seventh best mouth feel. “What is mouth feel?” demands Jake. “The inside of your cheeks are very sensitive. It’s like the inside of your thighs except with a tongue,” responds Boyle.
What would Boyle think of this very Aussie broccoli and sausage pizza care of SBS Food?
Online dating can leave you drowning your sorrows in…
… octopus balls. Look, most people would eat a whole lot of chocolate or surreptitiously slurp vodka from a teacup, but not Boyle. When online dating turns out to be a mismatch, he admits to Jake that the “donut holes” he’s tucking into are in fact, tayoyaki.
“I’m drowning my sorrows in octopus balls. I’ve been online dating. It’s a total disaster. I’ve only had one match, and it was a pretty obvious catfish situation.”
Be convinced by this recipe for tayoyaki from SBS Food
A hot marriage starts with cake
How to ensure a successful marriage? Start with the right frosting, according to Boyle. His plan includes habanero pepper frosting on the cake, to ensure his marriage to Vivian has “sizzle” factor.
We prefer this mango habanero hot sauce via SBS Food to using the spicy chilli in cake icing
Terry’s lunch is ruined
There’s nothing quite as criminal as a colleague stealing your lunch from the work fridge. But ruining it? That’s an emergency. Boyle leaves the fridge open by accident, ruining Terry’s gourmet lunch (a whole ham, chicken, bulk yoghurt, meatballs and more). Terry is infuriated that “everything’s spoiled!” He needs to eat 10,000 calories a day to “maintain muscle mass”. Desperate, he pours pretzels into his mouth and goes hunting for packing peanuts.
If your lunch has been ruined, try this salted caramel pretzel cheesecake instead via SBS Food
Boyle goes full Ramsay in his food truck
Boyle opens a food truck with the encouragement of Amy, and her investment in his business acumen. His freakishly controlling attitude quickly makes life painful. “Again! Still slopey, again!” he demands as both Amy and Gina attempt to slice bread rolls. In his chef’s outfit, his fierce demeanour recalls a drill sergeant or the famously unhinged temper of Gordon Ramsay.
Try these tornado potato hot dog sticks – Korean style – from SBS Food
The simple philosophy of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Holt is not one for romantic ideas around food and while Boyle is proselytising over cheese, his Captain isn’t buying it. “Try being more descriptive. I know you love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches," insists Boyle. “Why?” Holt responds, “They’re so simple a child could make them.”
Boyle’s favourite meal of chicken and potatoes connects him back to his mother’s womb, he explains. Holt is having none of the emotional claptrap and explains his own attitude to food thus: “I want a sandwich, I make a sandwich, I eat a sandwich.”
Elevate your peanut butter and jelly game with this cannoli recipe from SBS Food
Vale Boyle… bon appétit and bonne nuit
There are so many moments of mirth that Charles Boyle has gifted us over the lifetime of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Remember when he ate butter as if he were sucking on a lollipop? Or the time he dressed up as Mario Batali? What about the time he made yoghurt at his desk – surely a feat the New York City police have never accomplished in real life?
The eighth and final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is being fast-tracked to SBS On Demand from Friday 13 August with episodes airing Friday nights on SBS. Episodes will only be available for catch-up at SBS On Demand for a limited time, so don’t delay!