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Pea salad with guanciale; photo by Francesco Tonelli

Here’s a little something to think on: Is our city’s greatest culinary strength (being a genuine melting pot of global fare) also our greatest downfall? What is New York’s trademark cuisine? What are we known for?

Daniel Humm and Will Guidara hope to answer that in their new cookbook, I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes.

We live in one of the most agriculturally diverse regions of the country (take that, California), so the celebrated restaurateurs (of Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad) began at the most basic level--whole foods. Humm and his team visited area farms to learn the history, quality and use of everything from fruits and vegetables to livestock and cheese.

The hefty 500-page book may look intimidating at first, but the moment you launch into the narrative of alphabetized ingredients, elegant recipes and unbelievably stunning photos from where it all came, you won’t be able to put it down. We nearly read it cover-to-cover in one sitting.

So what if New York can’t lay claim to sushi or samosas, tacos or poutine? We grow a mean apple and make some ridiculous cheese. And that’s just fine by us.

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