Enthusiasts In the streets of New York, Andrew Doro's culinary world tour
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Since 2016 on Instagram, Andrew Doro has already documented dishes from 143 countries… without leaving its megalopolis on the American East Coast.
At first glance, it’s a really ordinary Instagram account. There are, jumbled up, photos of three bowls of ramen and Japanese beers, a pastrami sandwich (served with its large pickles), a feast of lobster and corn on the cob, a superb Sicilian pizza with pepperoni and fried calamari, lemon and strawberry-banana ice cream, baklava and dates… No wonder on the social network, where the keywords “food” and “foodporn” respectively count 412 million and 242 million posts. But on closer inspection, the posts of theare not simple photographs of meals, published at random: each snapshot immortalizes dishes typical of a country or a region of the world ... while having taken without leaving New York (United States).
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"You can discover a country through its food"
It was in 2016, during a discussion with an Australian tourist while he was traveling in Burma, that Andrew Doro, 38, had this funny idea: “The guy was trying to visit every country in the world. I thought I should do that too, but it was easier to do it while eating, "smiles the New Yorker. “When you travel, cooking is a way to access the culture of the country,” he explains. You can also discover a country through art or music, but the first thing you do abroad is taste the local food. " When venturing into unfamiliar gastronomies, it sometimes takes a certain daring to overcome the dislikes instilled by your upbringing: "I have a great tolerance for weird food, I'm not picky," Doro laughs. I lived in China for two years after college, ate chicken stomachs or hearts there, so I'm used to it. "
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While the global Covid-19 epidemic has dramatically reduced opportunities to travel abroad, Andrew Doro's project, four years after it began, takes on a special flavor. “I initially created the account for myself, to keep track, but it's also a way to show off the diversity of food in New York City,” he says. This is something I wanted to document. Doing it through food from different countries is also a way to show which countries are more represented in the city. " But is the food on offer in New York City authentic? Or adapted to local taste? “That's a real question. I try to go where the immigrants eat, to go to the neighborhoods where they are concentrated. We can see how the immigration map and the food map are linked. I am looking to see if there are any community events around food organized, although there are fewer at the moment. That’s how I tasted Slovenian food, for example, ”he says.
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"I am interested in exploring the city this way"
Andrew Doro allocates an average budget of $ 10 to $ 40 for each meal. Some countries, less present in the city, forced him to break his piggy bank: "The Icelandic restaurant was very expensive, but I needed the country so I went there anyway", laughs- he does. Through this project, followed on Instagram by just over 370 people, the New York native, who has lived there most of his life, also realized that he did not know his city that well. “I'm amazed to realize that there are so many neighborhoods I've never been to. I'm interested in exploring the city, which is so big, that way, ”says the Brooklyn resident, who grew up in Manhattan.
In four years of strolls and culinary discoveries, like this Moldovan dish made with polenta that blew him away when he "wasn't expecting much. Eastern food is a lot of potatoes, sausages… ”, the 30-something has seen his city and food trends evolve. “We have a lot of Thai restaurants but South Asia is less represented. However, there is more and more diversity, people are interested in regional cuisines, Doro analyzes. There is a Chinese dish, called here "crossing the bridge noodles", which I never found before, and which is now much more available. Conversely, shops for "egg cream", an American soda and chocolate syrup drink that was very popular, have closed. Gentrification also influences supply. "
For now, Andrew Doro has managed to taste, and photograph, dishes from 143 countries: “Sometimes it is not considered a country by the United Nations, but, as soon as there is a flag, I 'go there. For example, Puerto Rico is part of the United States but I count it separately. ” If he has already spotted a restaurant serving food from the Bahamas, Mongolia, Armenia, Turkmenistan, French Guyana, Surinam, Costa Rica or even Kazakhstan give him a hard time: "There is also mini-countries in the south pacific that I'm not sure how to get, I'm not sure how I'm going to do. ” Whether or not he finishes his project, Andrew Doro already has another, more difficult one in mind: to taste a dish from each region of China, always without leaving New York: “There are so many Chinese restaurants that it seems possible to me. Besides, I don't understand why Chinese food, which is everywhere in the United States, is still considered foreign! "
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