As I mentioned last week
, Mouth of the Border finished out a mini-tour of Italian fooding by taking a walking food tour in Dyker Heights with Myra Alperson of Nosh Walks
. Nosh Walks are guided tours that will have you eating in many of the city's well-known (and not so well-known) ethnic neighborhoods. On this particular night (Christmas Eve Eve) Myra was not only taking folks to a few of the 'hood's Italian bakeries but she was also showing off some of the fantastically lit-up holiday house displays.
Next year MOTB will be launching tours, so I figured what better way to prepare and learn how to lead tours than by going on as many as possible? (Tough life, right?) It was serendipitous that I've wanted to check out the larger than life Christmas displays in Dyker Heights since I moved here. Italian food and holiday lights? Check and check.
Our small group of six met at Mona Lisa Bakery
, where Myra had bought a couple loaves prosciutto bread for us to sample before we headed off. We got some hot coffee then went outside the cafe, where Myra gave us a short history lesson on the nabe and let us know how the evening would flow. We tore off hunks of the bread, and also each had a stuffed mushroom and bite of fried mozzarella. The bread was delicious, but it would be hard to mess up something involving carbs and tasty, tasty chunks of meat.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mona Lisa Bakery, Dyker Heights"]
Unfortunately, we did all of the initial noshing on the sidewalk. It was *maybe* four degrees outside, with high winds so our hands and faces got cold quickly. In retrospect, this may have been a good thing since I may have eaten a lot more at the beginning of the tour if my hands weren't frozen.
After that, we hit up Ravioli Fair
. Here, we each kinda picked out a bite that we wanted. I opted for hot cherry peppers stuffed with cheese and prosciutto. Mmmm. Myra got a container of four of them and enjoyed one, but there were no other brave souls so at the end of the night she sent me off with the other two peppers and a hunk of prosciutto bread.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Stuffed hot cherry peppers at Ravioli Fair"]
There were two other outstanding bites I recall:
1) Moist Italian rainbow cookies from Tasty Pastry
, that tasted of almond (as they should) and also of pistachio. The pistachio was probably in my head but now I need to make the recipe and incorporate that flavor.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Italian Rainbow (Tri-Color) Cookies @ Tasty Pastry"]
2) Eggplant Napolean and Eggplant Rollatini at Krispy Pizzeria in Bensonhurst
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Eggplant Napolean, Krispy Pizzeria, Brooklyn"]
Between all of the bites on the tour, I definitely felt as though I had a meal by the end of it. Of course, the food and food history was just one piece of the experience. Here is one of my favorite houses from the tour.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The Deer Says No"]
For anyone who loves food and who's maybe a little hesitant to go exploring on his or her own, definitely check out at least one of Myra's tours. She runs them nearly year-round and is engaging and knowledgeable. I look forward to taking a few more tours with her. I'm looking forward even more to being able to meet you and take you on a food tour myself (with a little help from my super smart friends) starting next year.
Readers: Have you taken a great tour (food-related or not)? Let me know what tour it was or leave a link to it in the comments.
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