I love historical menus. The New York Public Library has a fantastic selection up, asking for people to check the transcriptions. This might mean there are some check marks over menu items, but you can click those off and get a sense of what restaurants used to serve. As an example, here are a couple of pages the menu from Cronin’s, March 3, 1961.
I don’t know about you, but I could use the occasional 55 cent Manhattan.
Via Edge of the American West
It’s typical that The Economist would spend a bunch of space in its story on how Belgium came to dominate the world beer market on the worst beer to come out of that country (Stella Artois, though I hope I didn’t have to tell you that), but it’s still an interesting read.
I’m not so sure the future of world beer (and maybe the present) is in the United States, but per capita, there’s no question the Belgians are the kings.
Michael Conathan has an interesting albeit somewhat overoptimistic look at the state of fisheries in 2011. Conathan notes a variety of pretty good news ranging from the implementation of catch limits in American fisheries to crackdowns on pirate fishing. Two points I found particularly worth noting.
First, limits on the menhaden harvest are notable because for the first time, a species is being protected because of the key role it plays in the ecosystem due to its status as food for larger species. While I’m skeptical of the long-term commitment of Americans to protect species at various points in the ecosystem, it’s still a move in the right direction.
Second, Conathan gives some tough talk on aquaculture, basically arguing that while fish farming may have problems, it’s the only solution if we want to keep eating fish.
Still, as I discussed in June, if we take domestic aquaculture off the table, our options for seafood become extremely unpalatable. Foreign farmed fish is filthier than anything we would ever allow here, our domestic wild fisheries are already stressed, and the environmental impacts of additional beef, chicken, and pork production make aquaculture look positively pristine.
Thinking we should eat more vegetables and less fish? Try selling vegetarianism as a wide-scale solution to Americans’ omnivorous ways and see how far you get. Especially with my 4-year-old. NOAA’s policy represents an excellent step toward a future that includes domestic, sustainable seafood.
Well, maybe that’s true. But I do see that fish-free day of reckoning happening in the next few decades and it will be ugly. And given that farmed fish like salmon eat a lot of other fish that continues the wild fish harvest, I’m not sure whether it is actually sustainable in the long-term, even if we ignore or attempt to mitigate the other environmental problems such as water quality and diseased fish.
This image from Life Magazine disturbs me. I guess because it looks like the shot is set up like giving a dying solider a last drink of water. That it is part of a story on making turtle soup, I guess it probably didn’t bother people in 1947.
….Though the story it draws on does weirdly switch from saying the conditions for the turtles aren’t great and then giving recipes. So not sure what to make of this entirely.
What are you doing with all of your leftover turkey? When I was growing up, I knew turkey leftovers well. We’d get a big turkey for Thanksgiving and then eat the leftovers for like 3 weeks. Then, my Dad’s work always gave us a Christmas turkey. So we’d start the ritual all over again. From November 24 or so until about January 15, we ate a lot of turkey.
It is therefore with great joy that my parents never tried this recipe for Jellied Turkey Pineapple Loaf recommended in a 1950s cookbook by noted chefs the Poultry and Egg National Board. I provide this for you all. A public service as it were.
Jellied Turkey Pineapple Loaf:
1 package lemon gelatin
¾ cup hot water
1 cup pineapple juice, drained from a No. 2 can crushed pineapple (2½ cups)
1¼ cups well-drained crushed pineapple
½ cup grated carrot
1 package lemon gelatin
1 chicken bouillon cube
¾ cup hot water
1 cup cold water
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped cooked turkey
1 cup finely diced celery
¼ cup sliced stuffed green onion
½ tsp. salt, or more
Pour hot water over lemon gelatin. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice, pineapple and carrot. Blend and cool until mixture is thickened. Pour into a 1½ quart mold. Chill until set. Pour turkey layer on top. To make turkey layer: Dissolve the gelatin and the bouillon cube in the hot water. Add cold water stirring constantly. Cool until mixture is thickened. Add remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt. Pour mixture over top of set pineapple layer. Chill until firm. Turn out of mold on lettuce or other greens. Serve with salad dressing. 8 to 10 servings.
If this doesn’t sound tasty enough for you, there’s also a recipe for a scrumptious turkey mousse!
We at LGM’s Upstate New York regional offices are very much late to the party in terms of trying Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe, which was much discussed several years ago. We can, however, confirm that it works spectacularly well.
Pigs used for the McRib (and at Smithfield Farms more generally) are kept in extra-awful conditions.
A 2010 undercover HSUS investigation, however, revealed information altogether to the contrary. HSUS found that Smithfield pigs were living in hellish conditions where basic needs were systematically unmet. Female pigs were crammed into gestation crates, preventing movement for most of their lives; many crates were coated in blood from the mouths of pigs chewing the metal bars of their crates; a sick pig was shot in the head with a captive bolt gun and thrown into a dumpster while still alive; prematurely born piglets routinely fell through the gate’s slats into a manure pit; castration and tail docking took place without anesthesia; and employees tossed baby pigs into carts as if they were stuffed animals. The investigator saw many lame pigs but never a vet.
Must be the throwing of baby pigs around that creates the ribbed shape in the McRib….
You’ve heard of racial determinism. But have you ever seen racial determinism combined with pie? I thought not. This 1902 New York Times article about the relationship between pie and national success will fill this gap in your knowledge. Among other things, it not only makes the statement used in the title of this post, but also asserts that the reason for the lack of British military success in South Africa comes from not supplying soldiers even with tart, not to mention full-fledged pie. It also seems that the decline of large slices of pie into the lame small tart originate with “the pernicious influence of the shopkeeping element,” and that our country is defined by its amazing pie, with each season bringing its own deliciousness.
Update: Unlike many readers, the link works for me, so I’m not sure what’s up. But I’ve included an image of the article itself:
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A deadly salmon virus is likely to decimate wild stocks in coming decades. This highly contagious virus, which developed in the salmon farms of Norway, has infected British Columbia wild salmon that have had contact with farm-raised fish.
When we turn animals into industrialized products, very bad things happen. Sometime those consequences can be managed to the extent that it only causes animals great pain and suffering but doesn’t directly affect humans, such as the effects of a grain-based diet on cows. With more wild species, the problems are much harder to manage, such as with the decline of honeybees and now, likely salmon:
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infectious salmon anemia virus morphed from a benign form in nature into a “novel virulent strain” when salmon stocks entered Norway’s densely packed salmon farms. Rather than getting picked off by a predator, a sick fish would undergo a slow death in a crowded pen, shedding virus particles.
Fish farming is an unsustainable industry that we don’t worry too much about because we never see it. But human history of eating fish is about to come to an end. Many animals are being fished to near extinction, others that have proven farmable in the past are showing that this is hard to sustain over a long period of time.
A very interesting interview with Josh Viertel, head of Slow Food USA. The piece particularly interrogates the annoying Mark Bittman piece from a couple of weeks ago when he blamed the poor for their own obesity, accusing them of being too lazy to cook for themselves. Viertel explicitly addresses this, noting that the food environment of the country makes bad food decisions the only food decisions and that while his movement is accused of elitism, that they are fighting this charge by their actions rather than empty words.
Well, leave it to the always excellent Sesame Street to be one of the first major artistic endeavors to take on the current economic crisis, reaching to the growing number of hungry children with a character they can relate to.
No doubt this will convince Republicans to double down on eliminating PBS funding in the next budget.
Now this is fascinating.
What’s particularly interesting is that the decline of pumpkin beer in the early 19th century was not about temperance, but about a modernizing nation turning its back on traditional food as rustic and uncouth. This is interesting given today’s fretting among first world foodies about developing world nations leaving their traditional foods behind for western-style processed food. And even today’s food revival has not really brought pumpkin back into vogue, as one can see in the pumpkin beers that often attempt to clone pumpkin pie rather than pumpkin itself.