I recently read that home is the ultimate trave l destination, and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t have a zeal for globetrotting, a well-stamped passport or experience with the most authentic bowl of noodles in Southeast Asia. I have a different location-based obsession: Philadelphia. It’s an endlessly fascinating place for someone like me, with an all-consuming passion for food, to live (and eat).
That’s why I’m so excited to introduce the inaugural issue of Edible Philly. In these pages, you’ll find our first exploration into the countless people, places, events, projects, and products that make southeastern PA, with its creative restaurants and rich farmlands, one of the most fantastic edible landscapes anywhere.
On every page, you’ll find information and inspiration to enrich your food life this holiday season. We have a close look at the new crop of hard apple ciders on page 26.
Unlike what you may have sipped in the past, these brews are dry and complex—the perfect pour for your Thanksgiving feast. And, as you plan all your holiday meals, our guide to buying and cooking heritage breed roasts on page 42 (complete with recipes) will make you feel like a Slow-Food-savvy pro, even if you aren’t.
Flag our guide for a long weekend in Bethlehem, PA, on page 51 if you need a booster shot of holiday cheer. They don’t call themselves “Christmas City USA” for nothing. And boughs of holly aside, Bethlehem is home to some restaurants and bars that are well worth the short drive up the Northeast Extension.
If you haven’t explored the taquerias of South Philly yet, we give you another reason to go on page 14. Tamales are an off-menu surprise at many of these small, authentic restaurants, and our guide can help you track them down. Trust me, these packets of tender meat, spicy mole and creamy masa are a Philly treasure.
I hope this and future issues of Edible Philly remind you that home really is the most rewarding place possible for your culinary excursions. (You’ll never become a regular on vacation.) For those of us who live here, the Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market aren’t one-time sightseeing stops. They are part of our regular shopping routine and woven into the very fiber of our memories and traditions.
After all, tourists can’t visit Di Bruno Bros., the venerable cheese shop we profile on page 36, and bring their bag of gourmet ingredients right back to their home kitchen to start cooking—but you can.