Go foraging in the wilds of New York City

Go foraging in the wilds of New York City

While American’s hippy and drifter movements have long made use of its cities’ abundance of free unwanted food, spawning unusual tribes such as ‘dumpster divers’ and ‘freegans’, real foraging in New York City takes a special kind of skill – and one that one Manhattan hotel is planning to help you to learn.

While you may associate foraging with the foodie scenes of Copenhagen or rural Britain, it will take more than a pair of hiking boots and a wicker basket to find your fayre in these city streets, where hedgerows are rare. Well, actually, hedgerows are non-existent.

Not that the city is without the odd farmers’ market, and an obsession for ‘wild food’ has led to new ingredients appearing in menus at restaurants such as Acme (serving wild mushrooms), and Daniel (serving vitamin-packed wild pine needles). With these trends in mind, nyma, a midtown Manhattan hotel, has teamed up with one of the city’s best known foragers to give guests a taste of the wild side of New York City cuisine.

‘Wild man’ Steve Brill has been collecting food from the city’s parks since 1982, and on one of his weekly excursions he promises he can make a meal from some of the berries, bark, mushrooms and herbs that he discovers. Though we suspect you possibly may want to just nibble along the way, rather than rely on it for dinner. Hotel nyma is ideally placed between the modest Gramercy Park and the huge Central Park, so there is plenty of opportunity to try out your newly-learnt foraging skills after you’ve taken one of his tours.

Steve’s bounty is not the only local food harvested in the metropolis, with rooftop hives providing local honey, courtesy of the New York City Beekeepers Association. There are also now a handful of rooftop farms growing fruit and vegetables, which end up in cakes, conserves and pickles that can be bought at farmers’ markets, while some of the city’s restaurants tend to their own private hothouses and vegetable patches.

If you stay at nyma in a twin or double room in June for the special rate of $274.99 (approx ?184, based on two people sharing), the hotel with include a free foraging tour with Steve Brill. The rate includes continental breakfast, free wi-fi and national (US) phone calls, free use of a 24-hour fitness suite and free stays for children aged 12 and under.

nyma hotel, 6W 32nd St, New York. For reservations call freephone 0808 178 6363, or visit visit www.thenewyorkmanhattanhotel.co.uk and quote the code FORAGE when making your booking.

More food and drink holiday ideas

New York City guide

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