Cuisine of New York City
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The cuisine of New York City comprises many cuisines belonging to various ethnic groups that have entered the United States through the city. Almost all ethnic cuisines are well represented in New York City, both within and outside the various ethnic neighborhoods. New York City was also the founding city of New York Restaurant Week which has spread around the world due to the discounted prices that such a deal offers. In New York City there are over 12,000 bodegas, delis and groceries and many among them are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Enclaves reflecting national cuisines
- Bedford Park – Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Korean (on 204th St.)
- Belmont – Italian, Albanian (also known as "Arthur Avenue," "Little Italy")
- City Island – Italian, Seafood
- Morris Park – Italian, Albanian
- Norwood – Filipino (formerly Irish, less so today)
- Riverdale – Jewish
- South Bronx – Puerto Rican, Dominican
- Wakefield – Jamaican, West Indian
- Woodlawn – Irish
- Astoria – Greek, Italian, Eastern European, Brazilian, Egyptian and other Arabic
- Bellerose – Indian and Pakistani
- Flushing – Chinese and Korean
- Forest Hills; Kew Gardens Hills; Rego Park – Jewish, Russian and Uzbek
- Howard Beach; Ozone Park – Italian
- Glendale – German and Polish
- Jackson Heights – Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, Korean, Filipino, Thai, Tibetan, Bhutanese and Mexican
- Jamaica – Bangladeshi, Caribbean; African-American; African; Creole
- Little Neck – Arab, Chinese, and Italian
- Richmond Hill – Indian, Guyanese, West Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi
- The Rockaways - Irish, Jewish
- Woodhaven – Irish, Dominican, Mexican, Guyanese
- Woodside; Sunnyside – Filipino, Irish, Mexican, Tibetan, Romanian
- Bay Ridge – Irish, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, Palestinian, Yemeni and other Arabic
- Bedford-Stuyvesant – African-American, Jamaican, Trinidadian, Puerto Rican and West Indian
- Bensonhurst; – Italian, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Mexican, Uzbek
- Borough Park – Jewish, Italian, Mexican, Chinese
- Brighton Beach – Russian, Georgian, Turkish, Pakistani and Ukrainian
- Bushwick – Puerto Rican, Mexican, Dominican, and Ecuadorian
- Canarsie – Jamaican, West Indian, African-American
- Carroll Gardens – Italian
- Crown Heights – Jamaican, West Indian, and Jewish
- East New York – African-American, Dominican, and Puerto Rican
- Flatbush – Jamaican, Haitian, and Creole
- Greenpoint – Polish and Ukrainian
- Kensington – Bengali, Pakistani, Mexican, Uzbek, and Polish
- Midwood – Jewish, Italian, Russian, and Pakistani
- Park Slope – Italian, Irish, French, and Puerto Rican (formerly)
- Red Hook – Puerto Rican, African-American, and Italian
- Sheepshead Bay – Seafood, Chinese, Russian, and Italian
- Sunset Park – Puerto Rican, Chinese, Arab, Mexican and Italian
- Williamsburg – Italian, Jewish, Dominican and Puerto Rican
- Port Richmond – Mexican, Indian, Italian
- Rossville; South Beach; Great Kills – Italian, Russian, Arab and Polish
- Tompkinsville – Italian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Indian
- Chinatown – Chinese and Vietnamese
- East Harlem – Puerto Rican, Mexican, Dominican, Chinese-Cuban and Italian
- East Village – Japanese, Korean, Indian and Ukrainian
- Greenwich Village – Italian and Middle Eastern
- Harlem – Italian, African-American, Latin American, West Indian, and West African
- Koreatown – Korean
- Nolita – Australian
- Little Italy – Italian
- Lower East Side – Puerto Rican, Jewish, Italian, and Latin American
- Murray Hill – Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi
- Upper West Side, Manhattan - Jewish, Chinese-Latino
- Washington Heights – Dominican, Puerto Rican, Italian and Jewish
- Upper East Side – German, Czech, Hungarian
Food identified with New York City
Food associated with or popularized in New York City
- Manhattan clam chowder
- New York-style cheesecake
- New York-style pizza
- New York-style bagel
- New York-style pastrami
- Corned beef
- Baked pretzels
- New York-style Italian ice
- Eggs Benedict
- Chopped Cheese
- Lobster Newberg
- Waldorf Salad
- Delmonico steak
- Black and white cookie
- Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a roll
Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine
Much of the cuisine usually associated with New York City stems in part from its large community of Ashkenazi Jews and their descendants. The world famous New York institution of the "Delicatessen," commonly referred to as a "Deli," was originally an institution of the city's Jewry. Much of New York City's Jewish fare has become popular around the globe, especially bagels. (New York City's Jewish community is also famously fond of Chinese food, and many members of this community think of it as their second ethnic cuisine.)
- celery soda
- New York-style pastrami, pastrami on rye
- corned beef
- New York-style bagels and lox (see also: appetizing)
- Bagel and cream cheese
- cream cheese
- whitefish with and without pike
- Gefilte fish
- potato pancake
- challah bread
- egg cream
- pickled cucumbers (especially dill pickles)
- potato kugel
- chopped chicken liver
- matzo ball soup
- lokshen soup
Like the Askenazi-Jewish community, much of the cuisine usually associated with New York City stems in part from its large community of Italian-Americans and their descendants. Much of New York City's Italian fare has become popular around the globe, especially New York-style pizza.
- New York-style pizza
- spaghetti and meatballs
- chicken parmigiana
- sausage and peppers
- New York-style Italian ice
- Sicilian style pizza
- pasta primavera
- fried calamari
- Italian bread
- Sicilian bread
- rainbow cookies
- Penne alla vodka
Chino-Latino cuisine associated with New York City stems, by and large, to the earliest migration of Chinese migrants to Cuba in the mid-1800s. Due to a labor shortage and then the Chinese revolution in 1949, close to 125,000 indentured or contract Chinese Laborers arrived in Cuba between 1847 and 1874. The laborers or coolies were almost exclusively male, and most worked on sugar plantations alongside enslaved Africans. Tens of thousands of Chinese who survived indenture and remained on the island during the 1870s and 1880s now had more physical, occupational, and even social mobility. They joined gangs of agricultural laborers, grew vegetables in the countryside, peddled goods, and worked as artisans or at unskilled jobs in town. One of the oldest and largest Chinatowns is located in Havana, known as Barrio Chino de La Habana. Despite that fact Chino-Latino restaurants are rarely found in the Chinatown's of the United States. On the contrary, they tend to be concentrated in the Spanish-speaking areas of the five boroughs. Ten years after the Chinese revolution, came the Cuban Revolution, forcing Chinese merchant communities to relocate once again. Local national conditions that inspire the remigration of Chinese from other parts of Latin America, suffice it to say that political and economic instability in countries like Peru, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Ecuador have played a key role in determining the flow of migration northward. The distinct Cuban-Chinese or Latino Chino identity wasn’t found in New York City until the late 1960s and early 1970s when thousands of Chinese remigrated to the United States.
Cultural Significance of Chino-Latino cuisine
The occurrence of the Cuban and Chino fuse, had been established when the Chinese began to migrate to Cuba had been viewed as a unique immersion of a new and diverse part of culture. When arriving into the United States, a country in which binary racial categories had now been geared toward the racial segregation of Latinos and Asians which has slowly began to be accepted. Individuals that had previously owned restaurant locals in Cuba’s “Barrio Chino de la Habana”, initiated the adjustment to personal preference. Once these previous business owners arrived and settled in East Harlem, people began to establish new businesses based on the emersion within foods they have learned when cultured in Cuba, to honor their heritage and establish their economic stability. For incoming immigrants, these restaurants had a homelike feeling due to the authentic qualities and similarities between their settling area and their home country. It had been a minimal aspect of their home country such as, food that allows people to feel comfortable and adapt within their area of settlement. However, just as this concept had emerged in an accepting manner within present day these restaurants are considered to be disappearing this is due to the lack of the Chinese population migrating directly from Cuba in order to keep the tradition upheld. The last Chinese migration directly from Cuba had occurred in 1959, which has caused doubt on how much longer part of the Cuban and Chinese culture can progress. The process of acculturization allowed the younger generations to lose touch of their roots, compared to others who want to stand by where they come in order to keep heritage alive.
The Origins of Cuban-Chino Food
The core aspects of Cuban and Chinese food are similar in many ways such that a huge portion of their dishes revolve around white meats such as pork and starches such as rice. But, at the end of the day the Cuban-Chinese cuisine is the cultivation of the food culture of both countries within one restaurant. The Chinese aspect of this cuisine bringing in dishes such as fried rice, chow mien or even shrimp with black bean sauce. Whereas, the cuban cuisine bring in typical dishes such as ropa vieja or platanos maduros. Now when you think about ingredients each of the respective countries have ingredients that help distinguish their dishes. In Chinese cooking vegetables such bok choy, amaranth or broccoli play a big role in the development of popular Chinese dishes such as a stir fry. The Chinese style of cooking also relies a lot on oils, sauces and vinegars; including the most commonly known soy sauce as well as others such as rice vinegar, sesame oil and oyster sauce. The Cubans use a distinct handful of spices such as Garlic, cumin, oregano, bay leaf and cilantro. While also using a good amount of vegetables in their cooking of which include onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. In Cuban cooking these vegetables and spices playing a role in building dishes into extremely flavor packed foods.
Chino Latino Restaurants in NYC
Chino Latino Dishes
White Rice with Black Beans and Churrasco
Dishes invented or claimed in New York City
- Bloody Mary
- Chef salad
- Chicken à la King
- Chicken and waffles
- Chicken Divan
- Delmonico steak
- Egg cream
- Eggs Benedict
- General Tso's chicken
- Ice cream cone
- Lobster Newburg
- Manhattan Special – A type of carbonated espresso drink.
- Beef Negimaki
- Pasta primavera
- Penne alla Vodka
- Reuben sandwich
- Sausage and peppers
- Steak Diane
- Spaghetti and meatballs
- Waldorf salad
- Chinese kebabs (chuanr)
- fried chicken
- fried noodles
- Gray's Papaya, Papaya King – combined papaya juice/hot dog stands
- grilled chestnuts
- Halal cart chicken/lamb over rice
- honey-roasted peanuts, almonds, cashews, and coconut
- hot dog stands
- Italian ice
- Italian sausage, bratwurst
- Mister Softee ice cream
- Nutcrackers, illicit alcoholic drinks
- pizza, especially New York-style pizza
- soft pretzels
- souvlaki/shish kebab
- take-out soup, as Soup Kitchen International
Notable food and beverage companies
- AriZona Beverage Company
- C-Town Supermarkets
- Caffe Reggio - the first espresso bar to introduce cappuccino in America
- Carnegie Deli
- Carvel (restaurant)
- Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant
- Dean & DeLuca
- Dr. Brown's – sodas
- Drake's Cakes – cakes, pies, pastries
- Domino Foods
- Entenmann's – cakes, pies, pastries
- Fairway Market
- Ferrara Bakery and Cafe - first Italian caffe to open up in America
- Food Network – cable TV channel
- Fox's U-bet
- Fraunces Tavern – George Washington said goodbye to his troops here. Some departments of his new federal government were originally located here.
- Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill
- Gray's Papaya – hot dog institution where there is always a "recession special"
- Grotta Azzurra
- Grimaldi's Pizzeria
- Hebrew National
- Junior's – The World's Most Fabulous Cheesecake
- Katz's Deli
- Key Food supermarket
- L&B Spumoni Gardens
- Lombardi's – first pizzeria in America
- Now and Later candy
- Papaya King
- PepsiCo, Inc.
- Peter Luger Steak House
- Ray's Pizza – a fierce debate over which was the original
- Russian Tea Room
- Second Avenue Deli
- Serendipity 3
- Shake Shack
- Stella D'oro – biscuits, cookies
- T.G.I. Friday's – originally a NYC bar
- Totonno's - first pizzeria to open up in Brooklyn
- The Halal Guys
- Vitamin Water
- Yoo-hoo – chocolate drink
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