Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History with Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2004. 400p.
Order Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food:
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 & 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 Romanian steakhouses; or instructing readers on the way to bake a molten chocolate cake worthy of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Schwartz is the ideal dining companion. In addition to the text and recipes, the book contains archival images from Schwartz’s extensive collection of restaurant postcards, old menus, and photographs. Chris Callis, who took the vivid contemporary color photographs, 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.
In 2005, the book won best book on an American subject, as well as Book of the Year, from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. In the same year, it was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as best book on an American subject.
Praise For Arthur Schwartz’s New York City Food: An Opinionated History With Legendary Recipes
“Reading the compilation of stories, recipes and opinion is like taking a tutorial in New York food history delivered by a fun-loving, know-it all uncle…this is a book I will both ship to transplanted New Yorkers and keep on my own reference shelf.”
- Kim Severson, The New York Times
“Far more than just recipes, the chapters encapsulate three and a half centuries of cultural change in a series of tasty history lessons.”
- Sunday New York Times
(A) 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.
- Publisher’s Weekly
“The world of New York food is a rich and fabled trove of tales just waiting to be told. And who better to chronicle the stories than Arthur Schwartz, former WOR radio talk show host who also had stints in the food sections at Newsday and the Daily News? … New York food mavens will revel in the story behind Delmonico’s and rejoice in reproductions of Schwartz’s personal collection from such places as Lundy’s, the Brooklyn seafood institution famed for its biscuits. They will glory in the mentions of dairy restaurants, half-sour pickles and that “Jewish Champagne,” the celery-flavored soft drink called Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Soda. And those who remember the city’s first authentic Italian trattoria, da Alfredo, will delight in the remembrance of Alfredo Viazzi, its proprietor, who favored ascots. All this, and recipes for such memory food as Horn & Hardat’s macaroni and cheese besides. What, as Schwartz himself might ask, could be bad?”
- Sylvia Carter, Newsday
“Arthur Schwartz’s New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More than 100 Legendary Recipes … will make any dedicated fresser hungry. Its 400 pages, abundantly illustrated with historical menus and postcards as well as by contemporary color photographs by Chris Callis, trace the extraordinary contribution of immigrants to the 24/7, five borough feast that is the New York restaurant scene.”
- Eric Levin, The Montclair Times
“This is an exuberant, entertaining and definitive history of New York City food written by the quintessential New Yorker, Arthur Schwartz, a.k.a ‘The Food Maven’ and ‘The Schwartz Who Ate New York’.”
- Sue Perkins, Commuter Week
“To say that Arthur Schwartz has taken a bite out of the Big Apple is an understatement. He has chomped a juicy, bulging mouthful and gobbled the experience, seeds, core and stem. Lucky us, we can eat vicariously through him thanks to his book the gastronomic history of the city that never sleeps. And never stops eating.”
- Janet K. Keeler, The St. Petersburg Times