NYC: A Stew Of Culinary Experience

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NYC: A Stew Of Culinary Experience

Words: By Yours Truly, Adam Jeffery

Photos: A Food Pornographer, yes...Me.

Goemon Curry, A Japanese-Indian Culture Fuse
Goemon Curry, A Japanese-Indian Culture Fuse

Chinese cuisine? Chinese take-out (you know, the kind of Chinese that comes in little white boxes). Italian cuisine? Meaty, cheese, and, at times, oily, pizza. Greek cuisine? Greek Salad? I jest. Being in America for the past 4 years, well, more specifically, Boston have highlighted America’s knack in taking one culture and changing it to fit that “American” feel. I’m sure such a statement is nothing more than an exaggeration. Or, is it? It is common knowledge that America does not belong to a single race (if anything, it might belong to the “People of Old,” the ones we’ve labeled as Native American) but History has distorted such fact for it to be a “White” country (and by that I mean the many Europeans who came to this country and claimed it as their own). America’s history is littered with bobbing clumps of salt in its proverbial melting pot (and by clumps of salt I mean social unrest). In any case, this post is not about social/economic/political issues in America but food! Yes, food! Enough with the bad issues of America that would leave a bitter after-taste but let’s focus on the oh-so-glorious food!

Ladurée, A French Affair
Ladurée, A French Affair
C'est Un Macaron (not Macaroon)
C'est Un Macaron (not Macaroon)
Sweets Are All I Need
Sweets Are All I Need

In my opinion, generally speaking, if we were to compare the United States of America to a dish it is akin to a soup that has been throughly processed with an immersion blender. The end result? A delicious soup with a consistent texture that flows down the throat without the need of much chewing. Consistency is not bad but wouldn’t it be boring if you only had a silky smooth soup day in and day out? Yes! It’s boring! I need some textural interest. I need to use my teeth to rip and chew and gnaw! Again, I speak of America in its most general form. New York City, however, denies that immersion blender into their melting pot. NYC is a dish with varying ingredients, of complex tastes, of differing size and texture, and it is, in one word, delicious! The reason for its umami is not only the successful mixture of varying cultures but because NYC does not attempt to enforce “sameness” amongst its inhabitants. There is something to be said about gelato being crafted by a ruggedly handsome Italian man in an Italian Gelateria in a place called Little Italy. Is it the synergy that comes in being transported to another culture in a different culture on the other side of the world? Is it just my imagination? A bias formed from my years of travel? A form of cultural racism (I hope not)? Perhaps it is nothing more than the cappuccino effect at play where a macaron is a macaron but a macaron made in a French patisserie by a French pâtissier is a macaron!

Pi Greek Bakerie, Sunny Mediterranean on A Rainy NYC Day (it was raining...)
Pi Greek Bakerie, Sunny Mediterranean on A Rainy NYC Day (it was raining...)

Well, I’ll leave such thoughts on Food Philosophy aside and just say that every restaurant and cafe I’ve been to in NYC has not let me down. Of course, my stomach could only allow a few visits… still, if a few is a representation of the whole then I’m thoroughly pleased.

Toby's Estate Coffee
Toby's Estate Coffee