After our discussion last Monday, I started thinking about all the different communities that form around food. In his book American Tacos, Jose mentioned that “as I traveled for tacos, I was repeatedly reminded that the culture surrounding this food is rich and surprising and worth deeper and deeper dives.” This made me stop and think of how much of a privilege I have living in Queens were there is such a melting pot of cultures and food. I wanted to do some more research and I found these really cool maps of the boroughs on the gothamist.
It was very surprising and not surprising at the same time that Queens was the most ethically diverse. New York City is often times regarded as a place with a large variation of food but Queens actually has way more variety. The only difference from the city is that it has more low key places that rely on community and word of mouth. It is so cool how Korean food can be one block away from the best Italian food, and all these amazing restaurants steam from the community that surrounds them. As Jose said “the culture surrounding this food is rich” and is worth diving into. The surroundings of the food also pay a big part. Places such as Jackson Heights where the cultural hub lies below the 7 train platform, the sound of the train passing and the constant traffic adds to the ambiance and is part of the story of well. Or in Brooklyn as gentrification is pushing away ethnic restaurants into a smaller parameter with New American restaurants taking up the spaces they use to inhabit.
All these different cultures living next to each other give way to fusions of food and are part of the ever evolving stories of foodways and migration.