You can read the full “holiday” issue here. It also includes stories from Edible Manhattan, Edible Long Island and Edible East End. Use this map to find a hard copy near you, or better yet, subscribe here.
Books are my go-to gift. Every year I want to be that person who bakes my friends and family some dark chocolate sablés or sends individualized notes, but every year I make a batch Amazon order the week before Christmas (#nofilter). In my defense there’s something to be said for my sincerity in, say, inscribing the Bruce Springsteen autobiography for my Boss-loving dad or sharing some of my own formative on-a-budget recipes with my college-bound sister. Just because I don’t make the gifts myself doesn’t diminish the sentiment.
This earnest intention also inspires our holiday book guide, in which Sarah Whitman-Salkin bypasses the new releases and solicits some of the city’s best chefs for their all-time favorite cookbooks. The resulting roundup spans decades and has something for all cooks—from “the serious baker” to “the eager Japanese cuisine novice.”
Our bibliophilia is on display throughout this issue with another Whitman-Salkin piece on the New York Academy of Medicine’s surprising Rare Book Library that houses over 10,000 titles on food, cooking and nutrition, including the oldest-known cookbook dating back to 900 AD. Millennia-old food practices also inspire Brooklyn photographer and author Michael Harlan Turkell. He recounts his “acid trip” to Vienna to meet the so-called Vinegar Pope whose ferments ultimately inspired him to write an entire cookbook on the ingredient.
Back in the city, a photo essay strikingly captures a day in the life of a City Harvest food rescue truck as our own Liz Clayman joins a routine shift to get a picture of what the 160,000 pounds of food waste they retrieve in a day looks like. While that figure is enormous in its own right, it’s less than 1 percent of their yearly haul. Her sobering images should give us all pause.
Honoring a New Yorker who gives back, Alicia Lu makes her print debut by shining a light on Bronx-born chef Harold Villarosa’s unique career trajectory—from McDonald’s and Per Se to founding an organization teaching inner-city kids how to grow and cook their own food. Meanwhile, the inimitable Regina Schrambling salutes chef Dona Abramson, who applies encyclopedic knowledge from a lifetime of food service to operations at Kalustyan’s in Murray Hill.
In fact, Kalustyan’s is an excellent destination for your holiday shopping. They stock over 20,000 items that are great complements to our own gift guide, which features gems like a natural wine share, a handmade carbon-steel pie pan and a family-heirloom-material oyster knife. And if you’re more of the DIY gift type (teach me your ways), our managing editor Carrington Morris also demystifies New York–grown ancient grains with approachable pancake and shortbread recipes.
Whatever your holiday habits are, I hope that this issue helps give you the means to feel more connected both to this incredible city and those who you hold dear. We’ll see you in the new year.