Whether you're digging into a slice of cherry cheesecake, burning your tongue on a fiery piece of Jamaican jerk chicken, or slurping the broth from a juicy soup dumpling, eating in New York City is a culinary adventure unlike any other in the world.
Compiling a portrait that's both fascinating and deliciously fun, Gastropolis explores the endlessly evolving relationship between New Yorkers and food. From pre-European Lenape clamming to modern-day dining trends, Gastropolis builds a history that's much more complex than straight facts and statistics. The collection begins with cuisine combinations, such as "Mt. Olympus bagels" and "Puerto Rican lasagna," and follows with a history of food and drink before the arrival of Europeans in 1624. It covers early farming practices; the function of place and memory Asian cuisine; growing and eating up in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx; avant-garde chefs, entrepreneurs, and patrons; peddlers and markets; Latino and Italian influences; the evolution of Jewish food icons; cooking in Harlem; and restaurant dining as it relates to identity. Touching on everything from religion, nutrition, and agriculture to economics, politics, and psychology, Gastropolis tells a story of immigration, amalgamation, and assimilation and the rich interplay between tradition and change, individual and society, and identity and community in New York City.