Saturday, 17 November 2007

A Bite of The Big Apple

When Rob announced that he was heading to Rome on a 2 and a half week long work trip, I couldn't help but feel insanely jealous... not to mention a little miserable at the thought of being 'home alone' for such a long time. Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoy some time alone to indulge in long baths, changing into pyjamas as soon as I get home from work, drinking wine, cooking and eating cakes and watching trashy films (just call me Bridget Jones), but I can only do this for so long without worrying about turning into Waynetta Slob (or a wino)... Something had to be done.

The internet has opened up a whole new world to me over the last year. I have always been passionate about food, but I have been delighted to find many other people online who share this passion - not only share it but positively encourage it - and in that process have become firm friends. In my desire to find 'something to do' while Rob was away, my thoughts immediately turned to my foodie friends, and I decided that I would take a trip to New York to visit one of them.

What can I say? It was SO wonderful to visit a city and spend time there with a fellow 'foodie'. I suspect that many other people would look at me rather strangely when I whip out my camera in a delicatessan or supermarket, but if you've read my previous posts you'll know this is not only a likelihood but a certainty! Elisabeth had cleverly incorporated some hugely exciting food-related visits into what was always going to be a hugely exciting trip to a hugely exciting city.

Here are just a few highlights. My foodie friends will already have seen some of these, posted excitedly onto probably the only chat-forum in the world where people would hyperventilate with excitement at the name 'Dean and Deluca'. However, for the benefit of some other friends and family, this is my bite of the Big Apple. More photos (of some of the more usual tourist sights) can be found on our website.

The Buttercup Bake Shop, home of some of the most famous cupcakes in New York.

I think that I'd like to work here... although would probably be fired within the day for excessive consumption of the stock.

Here's what I chose from the aforementioned Bake Shop - a Red Velvet Cupcake. They're justifiably famous, and you'll be pleased to hear that the excessive amount of red food colouring that must have gone into it had no ill effects the following day.

This is Dean and Deluca - the deli beloved by Nigella Lawson, and therefore a place of pilgrimage for all of her fans. I gasped in delight upon finding tins of 'Nigella' seeds (actually black onion seeds) on the shelves, and bought many, therefore forced to spend the duration of the flight home hoping my bag wouldn't be searched at customs. Explain that... I can almost hear the rubber gloves being snapped on in preparation for the full-body search reserved exclusively for international drug-runners...

It's a true mecca for the serious foodie. Imagine the hole this place could make in your bank-balance if it was your local supermarket... ouch!

It was at the moment when I was taking this photograph when a member of staff approached me with the words "No photography please Madam"... Upon giving this some further thought, I remain baffled as to why this rule should be in place. Did they think I might be stealing their ideas in order to open a rival delicatessan? Have they been besieged by over-excited Nigella Lawson fans, clamouring to be immortalised in a photograph inside this famous shop? Did they think I was some kind of journalist, hell-bent on writing a poor review of their store? Well, I'm no journalist, but this stupid rule leads me to give D&D a serious black-mark. Being scolded for taking photographs inside what is basically a glorified supermarket (OK, it's very glorified, but...) just made me cross. And didn't stop me anyway. Pah!

No such worries in The Food Emporium, a wonderful supermarket tucked underneath the 58th St bridge. Just look at the architecture there. Rather puts my local Sobeys to shame!