Unless you are living under a cave, you’ve seen and heard it a million times. Milton Glaser’s infamous catchphrase printed on shirts, bags, and your yellow cab receipt: I ❤ NY. While the logo is as catchy, iconic, and timeless as the city itself, for many New Yorkers like myself, it truly does signify a deep love and appreciate for the place we call home. This city never ceases to amaze me and I try to get as much out of it as I can on a daily basis.
All of this might be the reason why I made an impulsive reaction and quickly splurged a whopping $50 on Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s cookbook “I ❤ NY: Ingredients and Recipes.” That beloved logo printed on a cookbook was something I never expected to see and it was the only selling feature needed to convince me to buy it. Once I received my book in the mail, I sat in the middle of the floor like a kid with a new toy and eagerly flipped through the pages.
But as I read through, I realized something: Humm and Guidara’s concept of “I Love NY” was different than mine. They focused on emphasizing their love for New York State farming and agriculture and the fresh local ingredients that they produce. I’m truly a city girl and I tend to stay within city limits so New York agriculture was the furthest thing from my mind and none the least expected to be the focal point of this cookbook. Initially, I was slightly disappointed but I kept reading anyway. I came to respect and even appreciate Humm and Guidara’s mission with their book and I found it very kind of them to care to acknowledge the local ingredients that go into New York cuisine as well as to reveal the historical narratives of the farmers work to produce these local ingredients. Turns out that I wasn’t entirely disappointed and I even decided to give one of the recipes a go!
Many of the recipes in this book are way too advanced for a neophyte like myself or just too damn expensive so I opted for the modest but healthy Oven-Baked Asparagus.
Surprise, surprise! These things were amazingly, breathtakingly, and delightfully good! Something like the city I love: New York.