Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More on NY Food

I can't believe I forgot two very important things.  Well, three.  (Update:  as I am typing, I am thinking of a fourth.  So, four.)

1.  Pizza.  There is nothing like NY pizza.  I'd leave it at that, because I know people are sensitive about their pizza loyalties, but I have to say:  thin crust, a little oil on the bottom, and we call it a pie, folks.  And the outer crust isn't rolled or pulled up or folded ... it just evolves from the tossing of the dough.  If you look in the photo, it's a little powdered still from the flour, a little uneven and if you're lucky, there's an air bubble that crusts up nice and crunchy ... those slices are mine.  Always mine.

Here's how you order:  I'll take two slices and a large pie.  (The slices are to eat with your husband while you wait for your pie!)  It's understood that unless you add something specifically, it's cheese -- just cheese.  They're not going to ask you, "Anything on that?"  No, dumb---, if I wanted anything on that, I would have said so.  (Sorry,  New Yorker in me came out.)  No Hawaiian, no alfredo chicken mushroom barbeque broccoli tofu froufy ... it's a cheese pie.  (Honestly, I did not even know you could GET pineapple on a pizza until I went to college.  I love a Hawaiian pizza now, but I'd get laughed out of town if I ordered a Hawaiian at home!)

And here's how you eat it:  you fold it in half long-ways and take a bite.  Don't get me wrong, I love froufy pizzas as much as the next person (well, maybe not quite as much, but I do appreciate a good version of a pizza), but that's not true pizza to me.  I have definitely found decent -- even excellent -- pizza outside of New York, but the FIRST meal I have EVERY time I get to NY is pizza, from a very specific pizza parlor.  Mmmmm, my mouth is watering and my stomach is growling, just thinking about it!

Mick about choked on his pizza one day not that long ago.  CAM was being fussy and silly and naturally WHM was following suit, and they weren't eating their pizza.  In a fit of frustration, I burst out, "Now, stop it!  Fold your pizza and eat it the right way!" I suppose it was funnier when it happened, but Mick found it hilarious enough to repeat about ten times that day, "Fold your pizza and eat it the right way!" over ... and ... over ... and ... over.

2.  Knishes.  Here's a photo:

For those of you unfamiliar with knishes, it's pronounced "ka-NISH," and it's a potato-filled pastry, of sorts.  The inside is a seasoned mashed potato, but drier than mashed potatoes ... difficult to describe.  Maybe like a giant pierogi, if you will, but that's not quite fair, either, and the outside is not ravioli-ish the way a pierogi is.  There are fancier home-made kinds of knishes that you may have seen at your deli counter, but this particular kind is best served nice and crispy on the outside, and you can buy them at hot dog carts in the City.  Slice it open with a little deli mustard in the middle, and you'll be full 'til dinner.  When we go to my parents', I also request knishes, and cook them in the oven until the outside is crispy.

3.  Italian bread.  Short of Italy, you really do get the best Italian bread in NY.  I have searched and searched for good Italian bread everywhere else I have lived and it's either too crusty, or too dough-y.  Love me some hot, fresh Italian bread, yes, yes, I do!

4.  Heros.  Served on a 1x6 piece of lumber wrapped in tin foil, half Italian, half American, 3-8 feet long, on Italian bread.   NOT a sub, not a hoagie, but a HERO.  The staple of every backyard (or not backyard) party in New York.  You slice the sandwiches no thinnner than an inch or two wide, and add potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni salad and some chips (and of course pickles and olives) to your plate, and you're good.  Oh, my. Now I've gone and done it.  I'm really hungry now.
See the salads on the left, the selection of pickles in the middle?  Mmmmm, all is well.  The wings are a nice bonus!

Note the tin-foil-covered board this hero is sitting on.  See?!

And that, my friends, is it for today's installment of the Food-I-Can't-Have-Because-I-Live-Too-Far-Away series.  Check back next time, when we will focus on Boston and New England.  :)


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