Friday, May 27, 2011

Food of yore

The New York Public Library has enlisted scores of volunteers to digitize the thousands of items in the Miss Frank E. Buttolph American Menu Collection, 1851-1930. There's something so gratifying about this beehive-like effort …now if the same energy could go toward solving world hunger! One thing I was surprised about was how many vegetables they ate back then (and how awesome train food was). If perusing this makes you a bit peckish, you might want to check out Best of the Best, Vol. 11: The Best Recipes from the 25 Best Cookbooks of the Year.
A real rabbit hole for an image hound, the library's digital holdings also include several theater collections—from whence comes this kooky image of 19th-century actress Charlotte Cushman as Romeo. My only question is, "Wherefore art thou Romeo?"


  1. You're not kidding... I want to ride that train! Also, as a Marylander, I'm curious as to what said fried chicken tastes like (I had to use the magnifier to catch it)! It's interesting that they ate so many veggies. Reminds me of Michael Pollan's "Food Rules", in which he posits that we should only eat foods that our grandmothers would recognize as food (haha)!

  2. I know what you mean ... I walk around the grocery store and there's so little that's comestible it's just ridiculous. Eating pure, healthy, unadulterated food is such a challenge these days (and expensive). I just heard a chilling piece on NPR about Mississippi -- 50% of the people there are hugely overweight & diabetes is rampant. They've lost all perspective, many people thinking that anything under 300 lbs is not a problem. The easily available food choices are all bad (fried fried fried).
    You might be interested to know that our esteemed vp at Daedalus, Helaine Harris, started a very successful farmer's market in Lewes DE.