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South Richmond Hill: A Self-Guided Food Tour for the Senses

June 16, 2022
An Indo-Caribbean aloo pie stuffed with channa, chickpea curry, from Richmond Hill, Queens

South Richmond Hill, where Little Punjab meets Little Guyana in southeast Queens, is one of the most fascinating, diverse—and, at times, overwhelming—neighborhoods of New York City. But getting to know this cultural and culinary treasure trove is rewarding and easy if you know where to go. Here’s how to eat your way through South Richmond Hill using this step-by-step self-guided food tour (and public transit). This post is…

Food Culture NYC

Where to Eat in Queens, According to Locals

October 25, 2021
Where to eat in Queens on a new map

Our new, fully interactive and user-generated map will guide you to the best local restaurants and street vendors in Queens—according to the people who live and eat there.    Queens is a literal treasure trove of cuisine and culture. And yet so many people miss it, or skim over the surface of it, perhaps because they’re busy or distracted, or maybe intimidated by where to start. Via…

Food Culture NYC

Project Postre: South American Desserts in Queens, NY

August 4, 2021
Peruvian picarones, sweet potato and squash doughnuts, from a street vendor in Jackson Heights, Queens.

You already know that Queens is incredibly diverse. Its 2.3 million residents from more than 120 countries contribute much from their various cultures, particularly in cuisine. The sheer variety lends itself well to deep dives into specific cuisines—via food, one can be immersed in a certain culture, and more easily pick up on the similarities between cultures. My family is from India, but as my hometown is Queens,…

Food Culture NYC

The Rise of the Home-Based Kitchen in Queens

May 26, 2021
Selection of delicious diverse foods found in the home-based kitchens of Queens

Whether by necessity or for fun, lots of people have started cooking and selling out of their home kitchens this past year, adding increased variety to Queens’ already super diverse dining scene. Here are 9 to try. [Last update: July 21, 2021] Every other day I seem to learn about another new home-based kitchen or chef in Queens—someone with or without professional cooking experience making something delicious for…

Africa Food Culture

Sorghum: A Look at an Essential African Grain

March 24, 2021
Sorghum field close-up

In the world of native African grains, the significance of sorghum spans centuries and borders, widely scattered around the continent like the seeds from which it comes. But what is sorghum, exactly, and why is it important in Africa?   Sorghum is an ancient, nutrient-packed, relatively drought-resistant cereal grain used for food (as a whole grain, ground into meal, and as a sweetener, like molasses), the production of alcoholic…

Food Culture NYC

Eat Something New in Queens Recap

March 9, 2021
A recap of the Eat Something New in Queens challenge

What happens when neighbors inspire neighbors to eat something new. Earlier this year, we hosted our first Eat Something New in Queens challenge, and it was so incredible to see so many community members inspiring each other regarding what and where to eat. I had no idea how many people would sign up to participate, but we had well over 100 Queens locals, and exactly the kind of…

Asia Food Culture

The Regional Indian Breads to Know

January 31, 2021
Bowls of dal, baati, and churma from Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

India is a country of humongous diversity that’s reflected in its culinary traditions—and its wide variety of regional breads is no exception. The influence of multiple cultures and different geographical regions is clearly evident in the smorgasbord of Indian breads on offer. The rotis, parathas, and bhakri (millet rotis) are traditionally an intrinsic part of everyday meals. The foreign settlers and migrants, too, left a mark on breads:…

Africa Food Culture

African Cooking: What’s With the Maggi Cubes?

May 15, 2020

At a beautiful eco-resort on Sierra Leone’s Freetown Peninsula this spring, Scott and I were invited to tag along for the weekly run to the local market. On the shopping list was everything from groundnuts (peanuts) and pineapple to bread and eggs, and Maggi. I didn’t think anything of the flavoring agent, figuring the stock cubes were thrown into a few of the local stews as a base.…

Asia Food Culture

What Is Mongolian Food? Going Beyond the BBQ

January 21, 2020
A Mongolian man holds airag, a traditional liquor, in Mongolia.

Mongolian food isn’t “Mongolian BBQ.” It’s meat and dumplings, dried curd and milk tea. Here’s what to know about local cuisine and culture in Mongolia. Say Mongolian food and the first thing that comes to mind is probably a modern chain restaurant. I mean, who doesn’t love a 20-foot, all-you-can-eat buffet filled with raw meat, fresh veggies, and concoct-your-own sauce? Add the excitement of a wannabe-ninja chef cooking…