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Classic New York Food
What qualifies as classic New York food? Is it the all-American fare that is served up from street vendors and food trucks? Is it the deep, baked cheesecake that’s topped with raspberry coulis, or lemon curd? Is it filled deli bagels? Or is it thin and crispy pizza?
The answer is that is it a bit of all of them plus a bit more. Classic New York food has its roots in Jewish cuisine, in Italian influenced food, and especially in eating from a food truck. The whole New York dining experience is an international one. Broken down, here are the top five New York classics that you simply cannot miss during your stay.
Hot Dogs in the Big Apple
A true NYC hot dog should be covered in fried onions, maybe some sauerkraut, and dolloped with ketchup and mustard. Again the classic New York hotdog is a development of the German bratwurst but, like with most things, New York has put its own stamp on the meaty sticks.
You’ll find hotdog stands everywhere in New York but if you want an authentic experience head out to Coney Island and find Nathan’s hotdog place. It was reportedly the second hotdog place to open in New York and is now the longest running.
New York Bagels
Another import that New Yorker’s made their own is the NYC bagel. This time they were brought to the city by Jewish immigrants who fled from Europe during WWII. The doughy rings are boiled and then baked to give them a shiny finish. Sometimes they’re left plain, sometimes topped with sesame seeds, or raised and sometimes stuffed with brisket, or smoked salmon for a lunch or snack.
Some say that one you’ve tried a bagel in New York you’ll never enjoy another anywhere else again. For a traditional experience go for toppings like chopped herring, pickles, pastrami, mustard, smoked salmon, and cream cheese; all of which are Jewish imports.
The NYC Delicatessen
Surprise, surprise, the New York Deli, or delicatessen is another adopted custom of European origins. These days it is where New Yorkers go for a quick lunch, or for a takeaway snack. A deli is where you’ll buy things like cooked sausages, cold cuts, cheese, pate, dips, and olives. Some places may have a really fancy selection where you’ll find things like caviar, foie gras, luxury imported cheese, and truffled pate.
Most things are served by weight which means that, to a point, you can control how much you’re spending. For a quick lunch ask for a made to order sandwich with whatever filling you fancy. There might be a couple of tables to eat at but if not take your purchase off to the park.
Pizza in New York
It goes without saying that the pizza was also adopted by New Yorkers; this time from Italy. There are a lot of Italians in the city so it stands to reason that they should bring their most revered food item with them. The first pizzeria in America was opened in New York so you’re in good hands if you’re an aficionado of the margarita.
Because the New York pizza is evolved from its Italian papa it will be a thin crust with a layer of tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of cheese. It should be baked in an open oven for a couple of minutes and served immediately while it is still steaming.
Food Trucks in New York
Finally here’s a classic New York food experience that can actually claim to be pure New York, well maybe. Though the contents of the various New York food trucks might be international, we’re pretty sure this phenomenon was though up by the yanks themselves.
A food truck is a mobile kitchen which might serve anything from light snacks to a full meal. One thing you can count on is whatever you get will be delicious. You’ll find taco trucks, curry, sharwma, and a New York favourite, the Desi food truck serving Indian cuisine.