Recently in New York City category:

People are impressed with (and a little envious of) the French and their relationship to food, especially a meal. So much so that UNESCO added the gastronomic meal of the French to their list of Intangible Cultural Heritage designations. The gathering around the table to eat is something most cultures engage in, of course, but it seems to carry special importance in France. A French friend…

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I’m always interested in ice cream, no matter where it’s from. But probably the most intriguing one I’ve ever come across was booza, an ice cream thickened, not with eggs or cornstarch, but with sahleb and mastic. Republic of Booza was opened by Jilbert El-Zmetr and Michael Sadler, along with two business partners, in Brooklyn, New York, bringing this ice cream stateside. Jilbert owned a booza…

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When I come to the states, with apologies to all who’ve urged me to check out a croissant, Kouign amann, or macaron shop, since I can get all those things pretty easily in France, I tend to stick with local favorites. I don’t think anyone from San Francisco is coming to Paris for a burrito, nor in anyone flying over from Brooklyn in search of…

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Before my first trip to Mexico a number of years ago, I didn’t know Mexico was a country known for its ice cream (helado), let alone an array of other delicious sweets. I wandered through panaderias (bakeries) with the metal tray and tongs they gave me, picking out my own cakes and confections. I fell especially hard for the little disks of mazapán de cacahuate (peanut paste), caramelized flans…

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I’m often dismayed when I take a trip back to the U.S. and people tell me they wonder why they can’t get good food where they live, like they have in France. While it’s certainly true there aren’t bakeries on every street corner in America (I think people would miss all those 24/7 drugstores and coffee shops), there are places that offer fresh-baked goods, nice cheeses, wines,…

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Whenever I’m in New York, I have a few drinking buddies all ready to hit a few bars for cocktails with me. One friend who I used to work with at Chez Panisse is at the top of that list and we both like our cocktails the same way: Not on the sweet side. So when we go out, we scan bar menus to find drinks…

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I remember being déçu (disappointed) a few years back when I signed up to go to a barbecue dinner in Paris and I was super-excited to attend. But instead of being served platters of long-cooked meat, I found myself being handed a plate of a piece of beef cooked on a regular grill: I’d forgotten that the word “barbecue” in Europe usually means “grilled.” (Shhhh. Don’t tell…

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Mansoura

One of the appeals of Brooklyn is the rich ethnic mix of cultures, cuisines, and traditions, that is somewhat of a microcosm of America. Many of our grandparents, including mine, arrived on Ellis Island and assimilated to life in America in New York City. And it still remains a lively, if sometimes uncomfortable, mix of upscale, downscale, rich, poor, happy, angry, frustrated, and content. But everybody’s gotta…

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Coming up, I’ll be doing two events in New York City. At both I’ll be signing books, and you can take care of some of that holiday shopping. Come say hi! On Saturday, December 5th, the fine folks at The Brooklyn Kitchen (100 Frost Street, Brooklyn) will be hosting a get-together and booksigning at their store. Copies of The Sweet Life in Paris, Ready for Dessert,…

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