For New York's German community, the rarest holiday tree on the market this December isn't a plant but a cake. In Germany, baumkuchen, or "tree cake," is a Yuletide fixation ubiquitous in bakeries and holiday markets. It's made by coating a spit with layers of batter and baking them layer by layer in a special oven, and you can find it at Stork's Bakery in Whitestone.
Recette's pastry chef lives in the neighborhood where she grew up and her parents still call home. But Whitestone isn't just diners and Italian joints anymore, says Christina; as the demographic changes, the food scene has begun to grown and expand.
Since emigrating from Italy to the U.S. at age 12, Lidia's family has called Queens home. She has lived all over, from Astoria to Bayside to Douglaston, and shops in the borough nearly every day, after church or on her way into Manhattan. Here's where Lidia seeks out Italian ingredients on her home turf.
Stork's Bakery is a vestige of a dispersed community. Queens was once home to a thriving German-American population dating back to the mid 19th century. But Stork's still stands, a tribute to the stubbornness of its owner, Anton Duke, who bought the business from the Stork family back in 1990.