When I saw “Ice cream, bisque of black bread, a la Delmonico” on an old menu, I knew I needed to track down its story. With some good luck and a huge collection of available digitized books, I found it.
The Buttolph Collection of Menus at the New York Public Library shows what people were eating in restaurants decades ago through its collection of tens of thousands of menus, most from the early 20th century. Let’s take a look at three seasonal menus and a creative menu for bankers.
I don’t like celery, so it might have been a defense mechanism when I started noticing it on menu after menu from the late-19th and early-20th centuries. As I looked through the Buttolph Collection of Menus for food conservation messages on World War I-era menus, it seemed that nearly every menu included celery as a […]
Reports about seasonal food from the farmers market are common today: for example, KCRW’s Good Food has a weekly farmers market report, the San Francisco Chronicle covers seasonal produce in the Sunday Food and Home section, there are apps about seasonal produce for your phone, and guides printed on paper. I have been following these reports for a […]
Reducing food consumption on the homefront was a major initiative of the U.S. government during the First World War, even before U.S. troops were fighting “Over There.” The U.S. Food Administration (run by future president Herbert Hoover) spearheaded the effort with promotional posters, outreach to restaurants, public education efforts, encouragement of gardens, and more. Some […]
On January 6, 2016, the New York Public Library announced that it was expanding access to more than 180,000 public domain images through improved interfaces and tools (e.g., APIs, metadata). I started looking through the collection and found some amazing items (so far, dozens of images reviewed and 20 “keepers” for further review). Now and […]
An Old Approach from Ancient Rome In ancient Rome, it was common for guests at a banquet or dinner to bring their own container – usually a napkin – and carry something home. This worked well for everyone, as there were no storage facilities for cooked food and it allowed the host’s generosity to be […]
As a follow-up to my piece on okara — which is a by-product of tofu — I’m happy to report that I have finally seen okara “in the wild” and gave it a try. When I visit San Diego for work, I often stay in the Kearny Mesa area near the intersection of CA-163 and […]
Update, August 2016: Fixed broken links and updated Microplace’s status “If you eat, you’re an investor” is the motto of Slow Money’s entry into the crowd-funding marketplace. Called Credibles – a word derived from “edible credits” – it joins Kickstarter, Kiva * , the now closed Microplace ** and others as alternative sources of capital […]
(Updated 10/15/16: new photo, fixed or removed broken links; 1/7/17: new labeling law in New York) As a follow up to my piece about seafood mislabeling, let’s take a trip to the sushi bar, where things can be even more confusing. An already challenging language barrier is made more difficult by mangling of Japanese words […]