More About Old Menus

New York Central wartime menu, c. 1943

My favored outside writing-home of the moment, the cheerful Obit Magazine, just published a piece and a slideshow, What the Dead Once Ate, about old menus and the stories they tell that partners last week's Out There post called Menu Time-Travel. Both include links to the New York Public Library's collection of 10,000 examples of past gluttony -- the library has massed 40,000 -- that are definitely click-worthy. Do you wonder, as I do, what every faded stain once tasted like? Oh, the captions for the Obit slideshow seem to have slipped … [Read more...]

George Lang Had an Answer

George Lang book cover

An extremely pleasant and perfectly bright acquaintance surprised me by stating with his usual attractive confidence that food is a frivolity and cooking not part of our cultural life. His spouse, whose every meal gives the lie to such silliness, just smiled.So I asked them if they knew that George Lang, best known as reinventor of New York's Café des Artistes, had just died. His life, I said with my own brand of confidence, may be worth a look, because he personified and made public the need to feed as well as be fed. How can hospitality not … [Read more...]