It’s a destination for chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, and artists alike, so it’s no surprise that New York City specializes in specialty foods. The ever-evolving food scene in the city champions innovation, creativity, and expertise, making it the perfect atmosphere to harbor artisanal craftsmanship.
What makes a food definitively artisanal? First, the creator must be a master at their craft, typically having studied and undergone an apprenticeship, and preferably having proven expertise in their field. New York City is the epicenter of renowned, award-winning chefs who’ve studied all over the world and come to Manhattan to prove themselves.
Next, the ingredients must be fresh, of the highest quality, and local. Artisanal foods are typically free of processing and ideally don’t require machines to prepare; yielding handmade, gourmet, and frequently organic items. Artisanal products are also, by definition, often made in small batches using traditional techniques, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. When combined, these factors make the treats perfect for on-the-spot tastings.
With a wide array of artisanal foods and fair share of makers, a tasting tour is a fun and unique way to spend a day in New York City. From fine chocolates at Jacques Torres Chocolate to cheese at Murray’s Cheese Bar, there is something for everyone, from sweet to savory and everything in between.
Bread at Amy’s Bread
Amy Scherber left a marketing career to study baking in New York and France before establishing Amy’s Bread, where traditional European baking methods, including hand-shaping each loaf, are employed daily to make French baguettes, country sourdough, whole-wheat, rye, and other varieties. View the bread-making process at the Chelsea Market location, where you can sit and enjoy one of more than 20 bread varieties (semolina with golden raisins and fennel is one of the most popular) or a sandwich, morning pastry or dessert.
Donuts at Doughnut Plant
Mark Israel began making donuts from the basement of a tenement building on the Lower East Side in 1994. Using his grandfather’s recipe, he made donuts all night and delivered them each morning on his bike to Dean & Deluca, Balducci’s, and other shops in Manhattan. Over the years, his donuts, known for incorporating seasonal fruit and roasted nuts in the glazes, gained a following and Doughnut Plant opened a bakery in 2000 on Grand Street (there’s a second location in Chelsea, too). More than a dozen variations of cake, yeast, and filled-donuts are made daily with all-natural ingredients free of preservatives or artificial flavors. Try the jelly-filled square donuts and the doughseeds (filled mini donuts), which include flavors like pistachio, matcha green tea, and vanilla bean glaze with blackberry filling.
Read more: USAToday