An Indian Wonka factory in Jackson Heights

You might miss it if you’re walking at the typical New Yorker’s pace when you get off the subway stop at 74th street in Queens, but there it is, in between several shops dripping in diamonds and gold: Al Naimat.

From the window, I could only see a few glossy swirls of syrup soaked jalebis, but I was struck at the sheer plethora of colors and shapes when I walked in. It’s a little mind-boggling, but the shopkeepers completely understand and sympathize.

This gif pretty much sums it up:

After munching my way through pretty much half the case, I settled for a small box of sweets.

I decided to stick to the basics (Next time, I’ll be brave and get a few of the acid green ones.), and wound up with a couple of gulab jamun, a sort of fudge thing, and a few that tasted like variations upon crumbly condensed milk sweets.

I enjoyed them all, but the gulab jamun, fried balls of dough soaked in different syrups, were absolutely phenomenal. Light, sweet, and oddly refreshing, I ate three before sugar-induced jitters began to set in.

For such a small box, everything within packs such a large amount of flavor. I have a considerable sweet tooth, but I was quite unable to get through even half of it. But now that the box is empty, I’m feeling a sudden hankering for some more gulab jamun.


Postcards from Paris : Amorino Gelato

The last few days here in Paris have been beautiful… sunny and at least 50 degrees. After the last few weeks of feeling almost completely frozen, subjected to bleak, gray, cloudy skies day after day, it feels as if Paris is breathing one giant sigh of relief. Spring has finally begun to sprung.

And to make things even better, warm weather means ice-cream weather.

Amorino is a european franchise, based out of Italy, that specializes in high quality gelato, italian pastries, chocolates and finally, coffee. As such, you can go to an Amorino for whatever sweet you’re craving around 3 PM between afternoon classes. And the quality is very, very good. The coffee here, sourced from Italy, is way better than Starbucks, and much of the gelato is organic.

So, to commemorate the first real day of spring, I treated myself to a cone with my two favorite flavors : pistachio and inimitable (chocolate-hazlenut AKA Nutella). However, had I wanted to, I could have technically asked for any number of flavors even in my one small “cornetto.” And, to top it all off, freshly whipped heavy cream, or “creme chantilly” as say the French.

Walking though the Luxembourg gardens, gelato in hand and sun streaming through the trees on a warm, Parisian spring day? Sublime.