Summer 2008

This summer Brooklyn’s greatest achievement marks an impressive anniversary. Learned historians and lay citizens alike celebrate the long-ago launch of our boro’s most famous landmark, a body both functional and beautiful, an institution altogether essential to our identity.

I don’t mean the 125th anniversary of the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge—although that milestone falls this summer too.

No, I mean the 10th issue of Edible Brooklyn. Cue trumpets!

Okay I’m joking about the pomp and fireworks, but those of us here in Edible-land are pretty thrilled to hit the big one-oh. It’s almost three years since we engineered a plan to define and celebrate Brooklyn cuisine, and the response has been tremendous. A hearty, heartfelt thank you to our writers, readers, subscribers, and advertisers, whose support is stronger than century-old suspension cables.

Back in design phase, naysayers declared it couldn’t be done. Like doubters who insisted no bridge could span the mighty, mile-wide East River, unbelievers swore Brooklyn lacked food news to justify its own publication. Wrong—our numbers rose from the watery depths like those famous two towers, as we quickly doubled both our print run and our page count. And still we can’t keep up with demand nor begin to cover the lip-smacking, tongue-wagging stories all around us.

Take the tales in these pages—proof that nine issues have hardly scratched the sumptuous surface. Herein we reveal the boro’s best milkshake, freshest fish, and most experienced knife sharpeners—all of which predate gentrification by decades. In this issue, readers discover Brooklyn’s connection to Union Square’s best tomatoes, the South’s greatest chef and America’s oldest winery.

But the boro’s food stories are hardly mothballed history. They’re written, baked, confited, planted and slurped every day by Brooklynites old and new who share an insatiable taste for real food and the experiences behind it. Appetite is our mother of invention, and we’re delighted to chronicle superior new watering holes; cottage charcuterie; condiments with a conscience; a record store that roasts pork too; and a non-profit for immigrant bakers on the rise. Kings County citizens even write non-annoying ice cream truck jingles and plant gardens at the pharmacy.

Like the Brooklyn Bridge before us, Edible Brooklyn is now crossing to Manhattan, too. No, this little mag ain’t pulling a Dodgers, we’re just expecting: come September we’ll welcome a little sister across the river, Edible Manhattan.

All this, and not one case of the bends.

Hot Bread Kitchen, Greenpoint.

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Gabrielle Langholtz is the former editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan.