Cuisines from the World to New York: Part 1

It’s no exaggeration to say that New York City is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities. From the casual diner to the most sophisticated foodie, it offers a culinary playground in which to sample cuisine of all varieties from around the world.

Like any city or even small town in America, Manhattan has many familiar ethic restaurants such as Italian and Chinese. Some of the best of these can be found Manhattan, in fact.

However, Manhattan offers so much more. From the spices of the Far East, to the desert regions of Africa, to the multi-cultural potpourri of Brazil, to the icy waters of Scandanavia—New York City is an international culinary mecca.

In this two-part series, we will explore just some of the world cuisine that Manhattan has to offer:

North African Cuisine

Africa offers a variety of food as large and vibrant as the continent itself, and its many regions. Northern Africa is one of these regions with its own distinct cuisine, influenced by geographical location and tradition.

The seven countries within Northern Africa are: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara. Since it has the most Muslim inhabitants of all the regions in Africa, pork is not a large part of its cuisine. Instead, proteins such as goat, beef, seafood, and lamb are featured, often accompanied with olives, dates and almonds—flavored with colorful spices such as saffron, paprika, cumin, coriander, pippali (long pepper), ginger, and peppermint.

One of the most recognizable dishes hailing from this region is Couscous. In Northern Africa, Couscous can be served sweet: with sugar, cinnamon and almonds, or savory: with lamb or chicken and a hot chili pepper sauce (harissa).

Lesser-known (yet equally as delicious) dishes from this region include: Tajine (slow-cooked stew), B’stilla (sweet and sour fowl pie), and Chakchouka (poached eggs over sautéed onions, tomatoes and spices).

In Manhattan, you can sample the bold flavors of North Africa at restaurants such as Tagine, Nomad, and Maman & Mimi.


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Brazilian Cuisine

Brazil has many cultural influences. The food and traditions of the immigrants and slaves that helped shape it (European, Amerindian, Japanese, and African) have melded together with native Brazilian culture to create cuisine that is highly diverse and regional.

Root vegetables and tropical fruits such as guavas, açaí, mangos and papayas are commonly used in Brazilian cuisine—in both sweet and savory dishes. Proteins used are typically fish and seafood of all varieties along with beef, pork, and beans.

Some popular Brazilian dishes include Rice & Beans, Feijoada (stew with beans, pork & beef), Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ), Acaraje (deep-fried black-eyed peas & shrimp), and Moqueca (fish stew with vegetables & spices).

Manhattan has several authentic Brazilian restaurants, including: Emporium Brasil, Ipanema, Esperanto, and Samba Kitchen. Be sure to order a refreshing Caipirinha (Brazil’s national beverage made with fermented sugar cane).


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Cambodian Cuisine

Traditional Cambodian food (Khmer cuisine) has Chinese and French influences, and is known for its contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures.

Khmer is unique among Southeast Asian cuisines. Although similar to Thai and Vietnamese food, Khmer cuisine does not rely on meat, chilli, or fat to flavor—but instead, uses herbs, spices, and the fermented fish paste, Prahok.

Cambodian meals usually feature several dishes, and rice is eaten throughout the day. Freshwater fish, pork, and chicken are prevalent in Khmer cuisine. These stapes are often punctuated with pickled vegetables, herbs, leaves, edible garnishes, dipping sauces and spices such as black pepper, cardamom, palm sugar, tamarind, turmeric, and jicama root.

Popular Cambodian dishes include: Amok (a creamy curry of fish, coconut milk and spices steamed in a banana leaf), Beef Loc Lac (stir-fried beef atop salad served with a lime juice/pepper sauce), Bai Sach Chrouk (slow-grilled, marinated pork & rice served with pickled cucumbers and ginger).

Take a delicious trip to the Far East without leaving the isle of Manhattan! Cambodian restaurants in New York City include Angkor Cambodian Bistro, and Num Pang Kitchen.


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Scandanavian Cuisine

Scandanavian food is humble, fresh, delicious, and closely tied to nature.

This cuisine comes from the wild: the sea, the earth, the forest, and is steeped in tradition and history. In fact, some dishes have survived from the days of the Vikings.

Naturally, fish and seafood are dominant in Scandanavian cuisine—often pickled, smoked, or even fried. Poultry and pork are also part of traditional Scandanavian fare, which is prepared simply and deliciously with potatoes, beets, berries, apples, cucumbers, and spiced with herbs such as parsley, dill, and horseradish.

Popular Scandanavian dishes are Gravlax (cured salmon), Swedish meatballs (with lingonberry jam, pickled cabbage or beetroot), Smörgåsbord (courses of meats, pâtés, cheeses, smoked/cured fish, pickled vegetables and breads), and Flæskesteg (roast pork with gravy).

Eat like a modern-day Viking right here in Manhattan at one of these Scandanavian establishments: Agern, Aquavit, Torst, Great Northern Food Hall.


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A World of Style and Hospitality

Style and hospitality are universal.

People all across the globe want the same thing in a hotel: comfortable and stylish accommodations with world-class amenities.

After your culinary expedition through Manhattan, end your journey with our brand of international hospitality and grace.

All of our guest rooms, studio apartments and penthouses feature spacious rooms, massive windows, king-size beds, custom furniture, marble bathrooms, and some of the best views of Manhattan’s skyline.

Look for the second part in this series, “Cuisines from the world to New York: Part 2.”


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