I have very, very, VERY exciting news to announce! Drum roll please…
This week kicks off the start to a project I have been dreaming up for quite some time now.
If you guys read my post about the seriouss culture shock I was experiencing after returning back to the good ol’ USA, you might’ve caught a sneak preview of the project. That’s when I got inspired. But if you have no clue what I’m talking about, here goes…
I present to you all,
Eat Around the World in NYC!
Sounds too delicious to be true, huh? Let me explain.
Like every good story begins, it all started in Fregenal. I was teaching my class of 6th graders about the culture of NYC (you shoulda’ seen my horrendously offensive attempt to draw the Empire State Building on the blackboard. Yea, kids shrieked…). Then one kid raises his hand, and asks “Que tipo de comida es típico en Nueve York?” (Translation: What’s the typical food in New York?”) I stared a little Juan Carlos for a sec…and then 2 secs…and 3 secs…Dumbfounded. I realized I couldn’t come up with a single answer. Uhhhh….pizza? Hot dogs? Big fluffy street pretzels? Which is all true. But I couldn’t have my kiddies thinking that that was all there was to NYC eats. I am a food blogger, after all! So I threw a curve ball to the class lesson, and started from scratch: Ok kids! Get out your pen, paper and your snack. Yes, your snack. Things are about to get verrrry hungry…
We’ve got Chinese food in China town, Italian food in Little Italy, Indian food in Curry Hill, Dominican food in Washington Heights, Mexican food- uh, everyyyywhere…
The list went on until the bell finally shut me up. Needless to say, the kids were in utter, drooling shock by the end of the class. Those little nuggets made me think. You know, I guess it really is special that NYC’s got so many culinary cuisines in just one (not so) little city. After that class, I spent the rest of my time in Europe really examining the types of diverse ethnic cuisines in each big city. I covered Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Brussels. While each city had their fair share of Asian, Italian, Turkish (TURKISH KEBABS OMG I ate so many I’m surprise I didn’t turn into one…), there was still a lack of diversity. No city could compare to NYC. The Big Apple’s got everything from tiny Cambodian restaurants, to mom and pop Ethiopian spots. From Columbian street food trucks, to West Indian, Vietnamese, Czech, Ukrainian, Jewish, Hungarian…Yea, you get the point. A little more than just tortilla Española y Jamón, eh? (However, don’t get me wrong- I could easily eat Spanish food every day for the rest of my life and be a happy little camper).
The diversity of my America the Beautiful (and delicious) hit home even harder, once I got home. The diversity of not only the food, but the people. I grew up with diversity of all sorts all around me, so I took it for granted. Until I was exposed to a different life. A life where the majority of the people in that country are from that country. Take Madrid. It’s an international city, but still, the majority of Madrid residents are Spanish.
Did you know there are 8 million people in NYC, and 800 different languages?
Just imagine how many different foods there are. So, my first week back, while in the midst of my reverse culture shock, it hit me. Like a pata de jamón (yes, leg of ham) falling from the sky. I would dedicate my summer in NYC to…
To show YOU, the awesome people of the world, how diversely delicious NYC is, in a matter of 2 months (’cause that’s all I got).
By following the people who know it best…the LOCALS! No, I’m not talking about NY locals, or else I’d be following myself. And that would be weird. I’m talking about locals from all over the world, who have become NYC locals. You know, the adorable Jamaican woman who goes to her fave Jerk chicken spot every Friday, or my Indian neighbor whose cousin owns a hole in the wall spot known to have the city’s best Tikka Masala.
Reach as many countries around NYC as my button pants and wallet permit, in less than 2 months. Starting this week (July 7th), and ending in August (August 25th).
This one involves YOU. That’s right, you… right there…in the shirt. In the comments section below, via Twitter OR the AWC Facebook page, shout out the country you are from (or if your country is taken, any other country with cool food). Then share the post to help me get more countries involved, #EATWNYC. I will accept the challenge, and seek it out. And eat it. Lots of it.
THE FIRST STOP?
VENEZUELA! As accompanied by Mariana & Victor of The World We Travel, a lovely Venezuelan couple who packed up their life and moved to the big NYC. Aren’t they just adorable?