Spring 2006

eb1With apologies to Brooklynite Walt Whitman, I sing the borough delicious. King’s County is arguably the best place to eat on Earth, but its own citizens hardly know it. Enter Edible Brooklyn, the magazine that celebrates the borough’s diverse and illustrious food culture, that seeks to define and honor Brooklyn cuisine.

Look around, taste your community. Brooklyn has a mighty agricultural heritage (the second most productive agricultural county in the US in the 1880s) and today proffers a burgeoning network of farmers markets and community gardens. The “boro” is home to a rich fabric of ethnic neighborhoods, boasting the most diverse zip code in the U.S. (Midwood), restaurants lauded by Michelin and Zagat guides, and foraging like nobody’s business—from the city’s best Chinatown to handmade truffles. Our food industry legacy includes a century as the nation’s sugar capital and the nation’s largest fish smoker. And best of all, Brooklyn is delicious because of you, dear readers: a citizenry as food conscious and culinarily literate as they come. From old-timers swilling seltzer to hipster musicians brewing Fair Trade coffee to families paying in advance for the year’s first local strawberries, Brooklynites know food and demand the best.

Edible Brooklyn is more than glam shots and restaurant reviews. This is a magazine with an opinion, one that advocates for sustainable agriculture, for relishing tradition, for seeking out taste experiences, and for pulling back the curtain on where Brooklyn’s food comes from and how it got here.

I’m your guide, and I’m unabashedly biased. I’ve lived in the boro for a decade, and battle a longtime vegetable addiction: at its worst I was simultaneously a member of the Park Slope Food Co-op, tended a community garden plot, held a CSA membership, spent weekends on a farm upstate, and was a farmers market shopaholic. I still make jam and pickles in my apartment, pretending it’s a farmhouse.

We live in Manhattan’s shadow, but these pages—published with the seasons and available free of charge at your favorite edible businesses (or by subscription)—illuminate our own kingdom. We invite you to regard Crown Heights and Bensonhurst as culinary wonderlands, to consider Flatbush and Atlantic to be boulevards of gastronomic exploration. Go ahead, relish the cheesecake at Junior’s lunch counter. Wash down horsemeat with vodka in Brighton Beach. Savor America’s most authentic dim sum. Buy just-picked kale at Added Value Farm in Red Hook. Ruminate over some Brooklyn-brewed beer. Plan a weekend trip to Brooklyn’s backyard wine country. And chew on this magazine.

Here’s some more poetry: Dig in.

Whitefish, Acme Smoked Fish, Greenpoint.

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