Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
Callis, Chris (Photographer)
Stuart, Tabori and Chang
Published: November 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Chapters on New York City's massive ethnic influences ("The Jews," "The Italians," "The Chinese") mingle with ones on various kinds of eating establishments ("Grand Hotel Dining," "Steakhouses," "Hot Dogs") and with sections on
"The Corner Bakery" and "The Golden Age of Cocktails" in this sumptuous celebration of Gotham's cuisine. Schwartz, a native New Yorker, has been dishing about the city's food for years on the radio, and here he catalogs dishes that are known the world
over as well as ones that are nearly extinct. He reveals, for example, that only one bakery-in Brooklyn-still makes Nesselrode Pie, a "glorious mound of chocolate-curl-covered rum-, chestnut-, and candied-fruit-flavored Bavarian cream," and that New York
Cheesecake is a descendent of the cheesecakes of Eastern Europe. He also includes concise profiles of famous New York foodies, like New York Times critic Craig Claiborne and Lutèce chef-proprietor André Soltner. Scintillating photographs of culinary
delights such as Lobster Newberg (created at Delmonico's in the mid-1870s) and Biscuit Tortoni (which, before "the tiramisu explosion," was one of the city's most popular Italian-American desserts) complete this delightful volume.
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Arthur Schwartz is the Big Apple's official foodie-about-town, the Schwartz who ate New York City, a fellow who has fork-and-knived his way through
the five boroughs. He knows his knish from his kasha, his bok choy from his bruschetta, his falafel from his frittata. And in Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food, he shares his gastronomic expertise, chronicling the city's culinary history from its
Dutch colonial start (think crullers and coleslaw) to its current status as the multicultural food capital of the world. For good measure, Schwartz also includes 160 recipes for American classics that either originated or were perfected in New York:
Manhattan Clam Chowder, Eggs Benedict, Lindy's cheesecake, Lobster Newburg.
Schwartz is not only informed, he's funny, and throughout the book he covers everything from the phenomenon of the celebrity chef to his first meeting with James Beard.
His text is transporting, taking readers back to Delmonico's, the Colony, the Horn and Hardart Automats, and the once-popular Childs Restaurant with its renowned buttery pancakes. Whether revealing how an obscure dish known as Omelet Surprise was
transformed into the decidedly chichi dessert Baked Alaska; investigating why some Jewish restaurants came to be known as Roumanian steakhouses; or instructing readers on the way to bake a molten chocolate minicake worthy of Jean-Georges Vongerichten,
Schwartz is the ideal dining companion. AUTHOR BIO: Native New Yorker Arthur Schwartz has an encyclopedic knowledge of the city's aromas and tastes. Currently New York's foremost radio food expert, he was also the longtime executive food editor and
critic of the New York Daily News. His previous books include Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania (HarperCollins) and What to Cook When You Think There's Nothing in the House to Eat (Ecco). Schwartz grew up in Brooklyn, where he lives
Chris Callis has been a professional photographer for more than 30 years. He is the photographer of Alvin Ailey Dance Moves (STC) and Maury Rubin's Book of Tarts (William Morrow), among other titles.
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