Our Favorite Stories and Photos of 2015

Our picks include tip pooling, Bushwick tamales and a billion oysters (literally).

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Our editor’s first cover also happened to be his favorite photo of the year.

Working with a talented cohort of writers, photographers, illustrators, designers and programmers, we turned out five issues and delivered dozens of daily posts this year.

Of course we have a special pride for all of our stories, but there are those that strike a strong personal chord for whatever reason.

See below for our editors’ favorites and let us know yours by leaving a comment or tweeting to us. Don’t miss our Edible Manhattan picks, too.

Ariel Lauren Wilson, Digital Editor

Favorite story: “Shoring up New York’s Waterways with a Billion Oysters” by Rachel Nuwer
Rachel Nuwer is two-for-two — she also wrote my favorite 2015 story in Edible Manhattan. One could argue that her feature on Billion Oyster Project (BOP) is more of an environmental story than a food one (these bivalves filter industrial pollution and sewage, so they’re inedible), but whatever — I was so inspired after reading it that I started volunteering with BOP. Trust her to educate you on how this humble life form could transform our local marine ecosystems for good.

ben jay taffy

Favorite photos: “Even with Machinery, Making Taffy Takes Lots of Handiwork” by Ben Jay
Like many other local makers, Salty Road Taffy takes few shortcuts with their craft. Ben Jay’s eye captured their process beautifully earlier this year, leaving me slack-jawed at my desk. These stills successfully portray the physicality of taffy-making and have a wonderful visceral tension.

Jesse Hirsch, Editor

Favorite story: “Tip Pools Run Dry for the Back of the House” by Talia Ralph
Talia Ralph’s deep dive on New York’s tip pooling laws — who wins, who loses — was not only well-reported and compellingly written, it was also prescient. For this was the year Danny Meyer decided to abolish tipping in his many restaurants, starting a chain reaction that has rippled through many other eating establishments.

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Favorite photo: Travel issue cover by Scott Gordon Bleicher
For my first issue editing Edible Brooklyn, we had a gripping story about reviving ancient grains in the Northeast — with a beautiful cover to boot. Some may say “hands in the grain” photos are played out, but this one is just so perfect. It stirs something in me.

Claire Brown, Associate Editor

Favorite story: “Spicing Up Christmas at Sahadi’s” by Miriam Bale
I loved Miriam Bale’s essay tracing years of Brooklyn-based holidays through trips to Sahadi’s. She captured the interplay between old traditions and new in a way that really resonated. And I’m stealing her Zuni risotto idea this year.

dead horse bay

Favorite photos: Dead Horse Bay by Scott Gordon Bleicher
One day last summer, our entire team set out for Dead Horse Bay to see the fabled bottle beach. Our photo editor Scott Gordon Bleicher meticulously lined up our favorite finds on the beach, and the results managed to capture the bleakness of the trashed waterfront and the mystery of the bottles’ past lives at the same time.

Carrington Morris, Contributing Editor

Favorite story: “This New-Old Drink at Montana’s Trail House Takes Four Months to Make” by Rachel Wharton
This story of an old-timey spiked switchel drink made from the scratchiest of scratch and served up at Montana’s Trail House reads like an Appalachian artisanal creation myth. From the bourbon and the housemade sage-cedar bitters to the craft cider vinegar made from the bounty of an upstate orchard, the Trail House Switchel Toddy seems to come to you straight from an enchanted local forest to soothe the soul and set whatever ails you right.

tamales bushwick

Favorite photo: Holiday issue cover by Scott Gordon Bleicher
The cheerful colors, the vibrant flower tablecloth, the careful, loving attention given to the homey servings, altogether make this one of my favorite Edible Brooklyn covers. A celebration in one shot of some of the best qualities a meal has to offer.

Yvette Cabrera, Social Media Intern

Favorite story: Tip Pools Run Dry for the Back of the House” by Talia Ralph
Talia did extensive research to explain why tipping is the way that it is in New York and what the repercussions are, even before Danny Meyer broke the big news.

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Favorite photo: Tamales in Bushwick by Scott Gordon Bleicher
Maybe it’s because I’m Mexican, but tamale (and salsa) pictures are amazing, and eating them is even better.

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