Calling anyone with a sweet tooth, have I got a book for you! The Desserts of New York and How to Eat Them All by Yasmin Newman is an inexplicably delightful read that transports you to the lively boroughs nestled in New York City and delves head-first into a world of pastries and sweets.
Even if you’re not tickled pink about the specifics of a pedestrian cronut others might spend hours waiting in line for, this book is an excellent read about a woman’s journey from Australia to the United States, in search of the ultimate foodie adventure with the support of her ice-cream aficionado husband, young daughter, and baby on the way.
Newman prefaces that this book is in no way exhaustive of all dessert stops in the Big Apple, but it highlights a smattering of uber popular spots in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In her own words, this book will “take you on a journey from street carts, food trucks, ma and pa joints, hole-in-the-walls, and old-school bakers to hipster joints, cool cafes, chic bars, and fine diners.”
I can attest to that variety. Between the stunning photography, thoughtful foodie cameos, delectable recipes, and vivid descriptions of each business, it’s no wonder an acclaimed food and travel writer such as Newman is able to truly capture the essence of the dessert scene in a city that can otherwise be overwhelming with crowds, incessant taxi horns, and finicky weather.
This book literally has something for everyone. If you’re a foodie visiting the city, this is a great book because it has a variety of “hit lists” that highlight different categories of desserts (e.g. trucks & carts, bakeries & patisseries, cupcakes, and doughnuts). If you’re more of the stay at home type and like to cook, there are tons of recipes to try. If you just like to travel and take in the sights, there are lots of non-food related stops sprinkled throughout the book, and if we’re being honest, many of the places featured have lots of non-dessert offerings (I had a great pastrami sandwich at Katz and an excellent time walking up and down the Highline in Chelsea).
I guess you could say this book is a jack (or would it be jill since the author’s a woman?) of all trades-part cookbook, part city guide, part travel journal. Since the book itself is like a giant list of delectable desserts, I’ll include my own list of favorite passages (but not too many because I highly recommend you get your own copy and peruse the book in its entirety):
-a brief history of New York cheesecake (so classic)
-a recipe for French toast ice cream sandwiches
-how to bake like a New Yorker
-and each of the little vignettes about the different neighborhoods, my favorite of which is Little Italy, where there is a multi-color portrait of Audrey Hepburn
All in all, this is a really wonderful, fresh-take on the dessert scene that has literally exploded all over New York City. I’d say it’s age appropriate for young and old alike, and it’s a great guide to have as a family when visiting the city and looking for stops that will satisfy and impress tastebuds of all varieties.
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. All photography featured in this post is my own; please seek permission before copying or reproducing the images.
Score Card: Cover Art 5/5 | Content 5/5 | Ease of Read 5/5