First bite…the BIG APPLE

New York City! Times Square! I had made it to the city that never sleeps and I was here with a mission. With only 4 days to spend, I needed to see it all and taste it all! 🙂

*I was on a backpackers budget and although I imagine the city has a whole lot more to offer in terms of food than that which I experienced, my purchases were specific, targeted and perfect for me!

Soaking up the energy in Times Square

The very first morsel to pass my lips in the city was that of a cannoli from the Cake Boss Café in downtown Manhattan! I had watched for years as the Cake Boss prided himself on his cannoli’s and made sure to get a taste of it. The only thing is…I didn’t actually know what a cannoli was. I bought one, sat down at the table and evaluated from all angles, making sure to experience all the different textures and try to figure out what this actually was. The show made it seem like a fried pastry shell filled with a fresh cream…easy.

My first cannoli

But the taste was more complex. I tasted sweetness, earthy notes of cinnamon, pieces of chocolate and something else, not just plain cream. After visiting my ever-reliable-guide Google, it indicated that the “undefined flavour” was probably ricotta cheese as was traditionally used!

It was actually lots of fun having to decipher my food in that way!

A view of Manhattan from the Staten Island ferry

After another full day of sightseeing in and around the city and also heading off to Staten Island, I craved a slice of New York style pizza!

In trying to understand this “style” I had read it’s a thin crust and traditionally just the tomato base and good, stringy cheese and one of the secrets was that the water used (the water of the city) added a significant flavour to the base. I’d then subsequently seen a show where a pizzeria on the west coast imported water from Manhattan to ensure they prepared the authentic NY style pizza! Great commitment! Great result!

Junior’s fabulous cheesecake

Obviously, there was always room for dessert, and my choice was Junior’s in Times Square for “the world’s most fabulous cheesecake”. It was creamy, silky smooth and the raspberry swirl added a tang that delighted my taste buds…fabulous indeed!

My last morning in New York demanded a run through Central Park. It was a clear morning and icy cold, my lips were numb and I was not in the least prepared for a USA winter but I laced up my shoes and hit the track. I still maintain I ran the full length of the park but this cannot be confirmed…or denied, so we’ll stick with that story!

Running through Central Park

As a reward for my dedication to my sport, I braced the rain that later swept the city and found Gray’s Papaya, another must-have when in NYC! I didn’t go for anything fancy but wanted to try what the “Famous Hot Doggery” prided themselves on, in its simplest. The roll was soft and the frankfurter firm. I had mine with the onion relish, the only way to have it, and added only mustard. This was indeed the perfect treat and an excellent way to end my foodie adventure!

Gray’s Papaya hot dog

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