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Whether you're digging into a slice of cherry cheesecake, burning your tongue on a piece of fiery Jamaican jerk chicken, or slurping the broth from a juicy soup dumpling, eating in New York City is a culinary adventure unlike any other in the world. An irresistible sampling of the city's rich food heritage, Gastropolis explores the personal and historical relationship between New Yorkers and food. Beginning with the origins of cuisine combinations, such as Mt. Olympus bagels and Puerto Rican lasagna, the book describes the nature of food and drink before the arrival of Europeans in 1624 and offers a history of early farming practices. Essays trace the function of place and memory in Asian cuisine, the rise of Jewish food icons, the evolution of food enterprises in Harlem, the relationship between restaurant dining and identity, and the role of peddlers and markets in guiding the ingredients of our meals. They share spice-scented recollections of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, and colorful vignettes of the avant-garde chefs, entrepreneurs, and patrons who continue to influence the way New Yorkers eat. Touching on everything from religion, nutrition, and agriculture to economics, politics, and psychology, Gastropolis tells a story of immigration, amalgamation, and assimilation. This rich interplay between tradition and change, individual and society, and identity and community could happen only in New York.
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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Fusion City: From Mt. Olympus Bagels to Puerto Rican Lasagna and Beyond, by Cara De Silva Part I. Places 1. The Lenapes: In Search of Pre-European Foodways in the Greater New York Region, by Anne Mendelson 1. The Food and Drink of New York from 1624 to 1898, by Andrew F. Smith 3. Digging for Food in Early New York City, by Nan A. Rothschild 4. My Little Town: A Brooklyn Girl's Food Voice, by Annie Hauck-Lawson Part II. People 5. The Empire of Food: Place, Memory, and Asian "Ethnic Cuisines," by Martin F. Manalansan IV 6. The Culinary Seasons of My Childhood, by Jessica B. Harris 7. The Chefs, the Entrepreneurs, and Their Patrons: The Avant-Garde Food Scene in New York City, by Fabio Parasecoli 8. Chow Fun City: Three Centuries of Chinese Cuisine in New York City, by Harley Spiller Part III. Trade 9. Hawkers and Gawkers: Peddling and Markets in New York City, by Suzanne Wasserman 10. Asphalt Terroir, by Joy Santlofer 11. The Soul of a Store, by Mark Russ Federman 12. Livin' la Vida Sabrosa: Savoring Latino New York, by Ramona Lee Perez and Babette Audant Part IV. Symbols 13. Cosa Mangia Oggi, by Annie Rachelle Lanzillotto 14. From the Big Bagel to the Big Roti? The Evolution of New York City's Jewish Food Icons, by Jennifer Berg 15. Cooking Up Heritage in Harlem, by Damian M. Mosley 16. Eating Out, Eating American: New York Restaurant Dining and Identity, by Mitchell Davis 17. Hungry City, by Janet Poppendieck and JC Dwyer Contributors Index

Promotional Information

"A highly original collection. I know of no other book quite like it. The authors and editors are exceptionally fine writers and scholars in the emerging area of food studies." -- Warren Belasco, University of Maryland "While New York may be the subject of more food writing than any other site in the United States, this volume will surprise, enchant, and enlighten. The collection shines." -- Frederick Kaufman, author of A Short History of the American Stomach

About the Author

Annie S. Hauck-Lawson is an associate professor of foods and nutrition at Brooklyn College and a registered dietitian. She is a native of Brooklyn, where she continues to live, work, study, and grow food. Jonathan Deutsch is a classically trained chef and assistant professor and director of the Culinary Management Center in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York.


While New York may be the subject of more food writing than any other site in the United States, this volume will surprise, enchant, and enlighten. The collection shines. -- Frederick Kaufman, author of A Short History of the American Stomach Gastropolis is a fun read, specifically for those who have watched their culture rise and blossom in this great variegated city. A veritable feast. -- Sam Roberts New York Times Gastropolis is a piled-high-to-bursting buffet, where emotionally charged memoirs of childhood meals are served up alongside highly detailed academic articles...enriching and illuminating. Gastronomica

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