Tag Archives: Greek

9th Avenue International Food Festival

Today and tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19, 2013, is the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival.  The festival runs from 42nd Street to 57th Street.  As you can see from this pic, the darkening sky didn’t keep festival goers away.  In fact, when it started to pour, they got umbrellas.

9th Ave.
There are all kinds of ethnic foods as well as typical fair foods like zeppole, funnel cakes, arepas, candy apples and grilled corn.

grilled corn

There are booths with Hell’s Kitchen and New York t-shirts and your standard street fair hats, sheets, spices, etc.  If you’re a single lady, there are some cute cops on the festival route, especially at 48th Street.

Some booths of note to check out are Empanada Mama, one of the festival sponsors, which has a few spread throughout the festival:

Empanada Mama

And Thai buns across the street:

Thai buns

I got the 3 for $5, Thai sweet sausages, pulled beef and curry chicken.  All were good.

Thai buns1

Schmackary gave out free samples of its chocolate diablo cookie, a chocolate cookie that brings the heat.


It was really good.

chocolate diablo cookie

Friendship has a booth giving away free samples of cottage cheese.


Poseidon Bakery, one of the festival sponsors, has a table of Greek pastries.

Greek pastries

Two for Tuesday: Greek and Middle Eastern Cookies

This week’s Two for Tuesday are Greek and Middle Eastern cookies.  On 9th Avenue is the Greek bakery, Poseidon, a family-owned bakery much beloved by locals.  Poseidon bakes Greek favorites like baklava as well as cookies like melomakarono (honey cookies), kourabiedes (walnut cookies) and koulourakia (sesame cookies), as well as fruit strudels made of hand-rolled phyllo dough.

Poseidon cookies

Sugar and Plumm‘s flagship store is on the Upper West Side, but they have a patisserie on Bleecker Street.  There, they have their signature chocolate pumps and purses that look more like the real thing than like chocolate.  They also have these divine little cookies from Vivel Patisserie in Dubai.  My two favorites are the Caramel and the Nocochi.  The Caramel consists of almond slices caramelized in honey and saffron.  Nocochi is a chickpea cookie that is soft as sand with a dash of cardamom.  The Nocochi white is a chickpea flour cookie with cinnamon, walnuts and white chocolate.  This had the chickpea flavor of the nocochi with this lovely spicy hint of cinnamon.  The Noir is a hazelnut biscuit filled with raspberry jam.  At first glance, I thought this would be my favorite.  But it wasn’t.  I’m a big fan of jam cookies, and this was not one of my favorites.  The Almond Rock is an almond biscuit topped with pistachios.


15 Christmas Cookie Recipes from Around the World

I love reading about Christmas traditions and foods from around the world. I searched blogs for Christmas cookie recipes from bloggers who are from the country where the cookie originates or of that ethnicity or that seemed authentic. So below is a list of 15 Christmas cookies from around the world:

African-style Christmas Sweet Mince Pies

Czech Vanilla Rolls/Vanilkove Rohlicky and Jam Flowers/Linecke Cukrovi

Estonian Gingerbread Cookies/Piparkoogid

Finnish Spicy Gingersnaps/Joulupiparkakut

German Cinnamon Star Cookies/Zimtsterne

Greek Spiced Walnut Cake Soaked in Syrup/Karydópita

Icelandic Air Cookies/Loftkökur

Italian Honey Balls/Struffoli

Italian Knot Cookies/Anginetti

Latvian Gingerbread Cookies/Piparkukas

North Carolina Moravian Spice Cookies

Norwegian Sand Tarts/Sandbakkel

Russian Rozdestvenskioe Pechenie

Scottish Shortbread

Swedish Spritz Cookies

Two for Tuesday: Rice Pudding

Since I had a delicious rice pudding at Doco, I’ve been on a rice pudding kick.  I never realized the variations of rice pudding out there.  It seems like Latin, Greek, Turkish, Indian and American restaurants have variations of it.  In my search for delicious rice pudding, I found some really good ones.  So I’m breaking the rules a bit for this “Two” for Tuesday and bringing you three selections of good rice pudding.

Of note is the rice pudding at Turkish restaurant Smyrna on Restaurant Row in Midtown.  Smyrna’s rice pudding came in its own little baking pan.  The top of the pudding was covered with a brown baked crust.  This pudding didn’t have much rice in it.  It was more of a creamy milk pudding with rice, and it was out of this world good.

Smyrna rice pudding

Prior to trying this one, I had Uncle Nick’s famous rice pudding, which I have had prior to my quest and enjoyed.  Uncle Nick’s is more of what we think of as traditional rice pudding, creamy with a medium amount of rice and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon.

Uncle Nick's rice pudding

My rice pudding quest led me to try the torre de arroz con leche (tower of rice pudding) at Chimichurri Grill, a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen specializing in new Argentinian food.  I would expect jazzed-up rice pudding.  This pretty version was layered with homemade vanilla wafers and topped with caramelized milk cream and powdered sugar.  The rice here had a more al dente bite to it (which I prefer in rice pudding), and it was less creamy.  Rice pudding is rich, so the addition of the wafers just makes it a little filling, but you can always save the wafers for later or share them with your friends.

Chimichurri Grill rice pudding