This past week I have been in a New York State of mind. Lucky for me I was in the city several times for social media conventions, a Yankees game, and for a New York City food tour of Little Italy and Chinatown.
When I was in living in London, I loved taking advantage of the cultural attractions. Living walking distance from the train, I was a 20 minute commute into the city of London.
Now that I am back in the states, I decided that I would venture into NYC for a cultural experience (2 hours away) at least once a month.
The first thing I did was subscribe to a great website (goldstar.com) where they offer discount tickets and event ideas for NYC. This is where I found my tickets to the culinary tasting tour of Little Italy and Chinatown done by Ahoy NY Tours and Tasting.
I didn’t tell my husband where we were going. We just boarded the train and I surprised him when we arrived in the city and were “Mulberry Street” bound. The tour started in Little Italy. We learned about the history of Little Italy, the feast of San Gennaro, and how most of the Italians began migrating to Arthur Avenue in The Bronx. We toured Alleva Dairy on Grand street, a cheese shop that produces 4,000 pounds of fresh mozzarella cheese a week. They shared their recipe of raw milk mixed with hot water and gave us samples served with Prosciutto from Parma Italy. DiPalos Fine Foods was next on the list where we tasted Piave cheese from the River Region in Northern Italy.
For an Italian dessert we stopped at Ferrara Bakery and Café to taste a cannoli filled with ricotta and chocolate chips.
NYC China Town Was NextI loved China Town. I am not big into Chinese food, however the area was filled with culture and streets I had never ventured into. Alana, the guide of Ahoy Tours and Tasting, gave us some history into the gangs of New York. She showed us areas where there were once Dutch Farms and a pond that turned into dangerous neighborhood where the gangs such as The Bowery Bows hung out (and lived in caves and tunnels). She brought us to Columbus Park where the majority of people were of Chinese decent, playing cards, chess, practicing tai chi and enjoying the sunshine.
We also tasted dumplings where Cynthia Nixon had her wedding reception. We ate at the oldest family-run operated Thai restaurant in New York City. We had a cupcake from John Wu at his shop Everything Frosted who studied with the Whitehouse Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and we ended our day in Nom Wah Tea Parlor to sample the original egg roll.
It was an amazing day. Whether you are in to culture, history, or just delicious food, I highly recommend this tour or a similar tour in a city near you.
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