A group of borough organizations have played a hand, along with community culinary input, in creating a salad as unique and flavorful as the borough itself.
The Bronx Salad, an effort to create a green dish to represent the borough for New York City’s Restaurant Week and as a vehicle for fast growing immigrant businesses to market themselves, is a proactive response to the borough’s placing last out of 62 New York State counties in the Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings Report, its boosters said.
The effort to make a healthy and culturally reflective dish, dovetailing with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s #not62 health campaign, was the brainchild of several different borough organizations and individuals, and is now on sale at food vendors and restaurants.
The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation; the United Business Cooperative, an SoBRO initiative for immigrant business owners; and Bronx Health Reach, which polled borough residents as to the ingredients to use, all took part in the salad’s creation, said Jamila Diaz, SoBro vice president.
“The Bronx Salad came about to help (people) understand that the population is changing in the Bronx,” she said. “Not only in the fact that we are becoming more diverse and we have new groups that want to come into the Bronx, but also that people are aware, educated and would love to change their lifestyle in terms of health.”
The Bronx Salad was first created in 2016, but it was promoted heavily during restaurant week this past year, she said.
Some business owners in UBC believe that opportunities may exist down the line to manufacture and market it to major food distributors or airlines, said Diaz.
The Bronx Salad contains black beans, mango, red peppers, avocado, corn and red onions.
It also includes black olives, plantain chips, tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce and kale.
According to SoBRO, many locally sourced ingredients are used, including some ingredients from a local community garden that are harvested by youth.
According to published reports from the salad’s initial 2016 launch, Chef King Phojanakong played a role in its formulation, and it is sometimes served topped with the locally-sourced Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce.
The Bronx Salad was recently featured on the Blox.Tv, a new online news channel about the south Bronx created by Round Seven, a Bronx-based development and production company founded by Marco Shalma and Gillian Todd.
The two-minute segment was part of Blox.Tv’s Bloxpedia series that showcases various borough attractions said Todd, stating that the video was released in conjunction with the citywide restaurant week.
According to SoBRO the salad is available in several places, including: Mott Haven Bar & Grill at 1 Bruckner Boulevard; Delmys at 456 East 149 Street; Mexicosina at 503 Jackson Avenue; Don Pancho Steak House at 43 Bruckner Boulevard; Viktoria Italian Restaurant at 3114 Third Avenue; Angel’s Healthy Soul Food, 555 Bergen Avenue and Fine Fare Supermarket at 459 East 149th Street.