A Bite of the Big Apple

Sonali travels to New York and assesses the food situation in the land of donuts


Credit: bluemooninhereyes

Over the summer I was lucky enough to visit New York and Massachusetts, and even luckier to “sample” (scoff greedily) the delicious food. American cuisine might suggest greasy burgers and fast food, andwhilst you’ll certainly find some of that, there is a far wider variety on offer.

New York’s food is multi-cultural. Influenced by immigrants from everywhere over centuries, there is cuisine from backgrounds as varied as Italian, Chinese and Jewish. So whatever you have a craving for, chances are that New York’s endless delis, street stalls and restaurants will offer it.

New York’s pizza is particularly iconic. A far cry from your Domino’s margarita, New York has made the Italian dish its own. Wide with a thin crust, you can order a pie (that’s a whole pizza) or more sensibly opt for a $3 single slice (which is bigger than your face). When you’ve selected your toppings, your slice is baked then and there in a pizza oven. Because the slices are big and thin, there is a folding technique to eating New York pizza which adds to the fun. It’s not date food (or diet food for that matter) but it is delicious.

A few hours away, Massachusetts’s capital Boston is famed for its seafood. Stalls and restaurants sell New England offerings like clams casino, fried clam strips, and chowder bread bowls (tasty seafood soup served inside a hollowed out bun). Lobster rolls were definitely the most popular seafood choice. This delicious $15 sandwich consists of chunks of lobster meat, mayonnaise and lettuce served on a bun. More expensive than a Brown’s lunch but the closest you’ll get to luxury seafood on a student budget! Boston is also the birthplace of the humble tin of baked beans. A popular side dish, Boston baked beans are sweeter and darker than their UK cousins.

For dessert you can have traditional Yank favourites like brownies, apple pie and chocolate chip cookies. New York’s speciality cheesecake is flavoured with vanilla, rich and creamy. Whoopie Pies are a typical New England choice: white frosting sandwiched between two round chocolate cakes, they are like supersized Oreos. And of course American candy is pretty awesome – I recommend Reese’s Pieces and Peanut Butter Cups.

American blueberry pancakes were a favourite breakfast, but you can also enjoy them for pudding with ice cream or, if you’re feeling really American, maple syrup.

Serves 4 as dessert.
3 large eggs
125g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
150ml milk in a jug
1tbsp oil
2tbsp caster sugar
100g blueberries

1. Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Separate the yolks from whites. Put the whites in a large bowl and whisk to soft peaks (electric whisks are quicker and less tiring).
2. Mix the egg yolks with the milk, then add to flour. Stir with a whisk to make a smooth batter. Gently fold batter into egg whites and stir to combine. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Stir in the blueberries.
3. Add a tablespoonful of blueberry mixture to a hot oiled pan, to make one small pancake. Don’t tilt the pan as you want them to be small, thicker and circular rather than thin.
4. After 2 minutes, flip with a spatula to cook the other side till both sides are golden brown. Keep on a plate whilst you repeat to use up all the mixture.

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