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New York Food


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Glad to see your new book is out, and I cant wait to get it, Arthur.

Tell me, what struck you most about New York food as you compiled and wrote the book, and what, for you, was the most inspirational/unexpected story you encountered?

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Glad to see your new book is out, and I cant wait to get it, Arthur.

Tell me, what struck you most about New York food as you compiled and wrote the book, and what, for you, was the most inspirational/unexpected story you encountered?

First, let me tell you the most surprising thing - the most enduring thing -- about New York City itself. It was started as a business -- the Dutch West Indies Company -- not a colony, therefore money has always been the center of our culture. (I think "too bad" but its a fact.) The ability to make money here is what draws immigrants, and New York has always been incredibly diverse. In 1638, New Amsterdam had 440 citizens and they spoke 18 languages. Now New York has 8 million people and we speak 132 languages.

As each immigrant group came in (with few exceptions) the city has absorbed their cusine (in part). There was a time, in the 1930s through early 50s, when gefilte fish was next to lobster Newburg on mainstream menus. Italian food didn't really seep in until the 1970s (that was strange, but there's an explanation). Chinese food used to be the whole city's comfort food, with a take-out wok in every neighborhood. Nowadays, Indian restaurants are supplanting the Chinese. In New York, you can vindaloo or tandoori delivered to your door.

New York's wealth brings us the best fancy restaurants. You can also say that New York's wealth attracts the food of the world's poor.

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