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The area that encompasses the Queens neighborhoods of Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights – which happens to be the location of our “United Kitchens” food tour – is one of the most diverse places on the face of the planet, home to a multitude of immigrant communities. That diversity is, naturally, best expressed through these neighborhoods’ vibrant food scenes. With our “United Kitchens of Queens” box, that culinary mix can now become part of your own kitchen.
To create this box, we hit up some of our favorite grocers and vendors to put together a “packaged tour” of the area. Our first stop was Kabayan, a Filipino restaurant that was converted into a grocery store during the coronavirus crisis, for a bottle of Suka Pinakurat, a vinegary dipping sauce and marinade for grilled and roasted meats made out of fermented coconut nectar. From there we moved on to Pata Market, a beloved Thai grocer, for a jar of Pad Kapao – an assertive chili paste mixed with basil and garlic that’s great for seasoning stir frys and vegetables. In Jackson Heights we stopped into the always bustling Patel Brothers – NYC’s largest Indian supermarket – for a jar of sweet-and-sour tamarind and date chutney and a package of flavorsome Bhakri Masala flatbread crisps – made of wheat and chickpea flours – to dip into it. Back in Corona, we popped into Casa Rivera, one of the first Latino markets in Queens, to pick up two Peruvian specialties: an earthy pesto-like cilantro paste that serves as a great condiment for stews and grilled meats, along with a bag of Avena Quinoa, an oatmeal and quinoa mix that can be made into either a hot or cold drink or, when mixed with some flour, hearty pancakes. For a sweet finish, we dropped into La Risaralda – in business for more than 45 years – to pick up a package of exquisite Colombian guava paste. And to bring it all together, we went to the street stand of the Ramirez family, immigrants from Mexico, to get one of their handcrafted ceramic bowls, perfect for salsa (or chutney).
You’ll find all of these items inside our “United Kitchens of Queens” box. Order it to bring some new flavors into your kitchen or send it to friends and family so they can get a taste of the diversity of Queens for themselves.