Synopses & Reviews
Glossy magazines write about them, celebrities give their names to them, and youand#8217;d better believe thereand#8217;s an app (or ten) committed to finding you the right one. They are New York City restaurants and food shops. And their journey to international notoriety is a captivating one. The now-booming food capital was once a small seaport city, home to a mere six municipal food markets that were stocked by farmers, fishermen, and hunters who lived in the area. By 1890, however, the cityand#8217;s population had grown to more than one million, and residents could dine in thousands of restaurants with a greater abundance and variety of options than any other place in the United States.
Historians, sociologists, and foodies alike will devour the story of the origins of New York Cityand#8217;s food industry inand#160;Urban Appetites. Cindy R. Lobel focuses on the rise of New York as both a metropolis and a food capital, opening a new window onto the intersection of the cultural, social, political, and economic transformations of the nineteenth century. She offers wonderfully detailed accounts of public markets and private food shops; basement restaurants and immigrant diners serving favorites from the old country; cake and coffee shops; and high-end, French-inspired eating houses made for being seen in society as much as for dining.and#160; But as the food and the population became increasingly cosmopolitan, corruption, contamination, and undeniably inequitable conditions escalated.and#160;Urban Appetitesand#160;serves up a complete picture of the evolution of the city, its politics, and its foodways.
and#8220;Lobeland#8217;s fine book leads us on a fascinating tour of New Yorkand#8217;s foodways past, letting us explore the farms and markets that supplied kitchens in the cityand#8217;s homes and restaurants and introducing us to men and women who raised food, sold it, cooked it, and ate it.and#8221;
"New York's roots as the world's greatest culinary center are firmly cemented in Cindy Lobel's wonderful survey of the dazzling dining options of the nineteenth century. Her descriptions of markets, dining rooms, restaurants, and kitchens tell us not only what people ate but where they dined and how the city's rich ethnic diversity influenced it all."
and#8220;Lobel's accessible cultural history takes us on a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of New York's food system, covering everything from the provisioning of family kitchens to the emergence of the greatest restaurant scene in the world. Scholars and policymakers have recently recognized that food systems are a key to cultural and environmental sustainability, making this is an ideal time for Lobel's much-needed primer on the historic context for this essential human question. This is a must-read for all who hunger for a better understanding of how cities really work.and#8221;
and#8220;[O]ne snapshot of New York in a century that brought enormous changes in eating and food productionand#8230;. Through the lens of food, the book surveys changes in the culture, demographics and politics of the city.and#8221;
andldquo;Lobel uncovers the 19th-century roots of New York Cityandrsquo;s claim to be the food capital of the world and its implications of diversity, abundance, and exoticism associated with the rising urban US. . . . The bookand#39;s best sections cover the growing cultural expectations of urban restaurants in the rise of public culture that serviced specialized clienteles. Recommended.andrdquo;
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.
Compiling a portrait that's both fascinating and deliciously fun, Gastropolis explores the endlessly evolving relationship between New Yorkers and food.
Cindy Lobeland#8217;s Urban Appetities
explores the coevolution of New York City, its politics, and its foodways. Between 1800 and 1890, New York grew from a seaport town with 60,000 residentsand#151;whose food came from local farms, waters, and forestsand#151;into a city of 6,000,000, served by an elaborate army of food-sector workers, including regional dairymen and truck farmers, western ranchers, and farmers in the South, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. New York became abundant with food and restaurants as never before. Yet its food system was also highly inequitable and notably corrupt. Lobeland#8217;s focus on the rise of New York as both a metropolis and a food capital opens a unique window onto the intersection of the cultural, social, political, and economic transformations of the nineteenth century. Her perspective provides for fresh consideration of the development of the market economy in New York; the rise of concerns about food quality and access to food; the development of a culture of conspicuous consumption; and the transformation of domestic culinary life. Altogether, Lobel illuminates the ways in which the cityand#8217;s physical and social growth was intimately connected to changes in its food networks.
About the Author
Cindy R. Lobel
Table of Contents
and#160;ONE / andldquo;Convenient to the New York Marketandrdquo;: Feeding New York City in the Early National Period, 1786andndash;1830and#160;TWO / andldquo;The Glory of a Plenteous Landandrdquo;: The Transformation of New Yorkandrsquo;s Food Supply, 1825andndash;1865and#160;THREE / andldquo;Monuments of Municipal Malfeasanceandrdquo;: The Flip Side of Dietary Abundance, 1825andndash;1865and#160;FOUR / andldquo;To See and Be Seenandrdquo;: Restaurants and Public Culture, 1825andndash;1865and#160;FIVE / andldquo;No Place More Attractive than Homeandrdquo;: Domesticity and Consumerism, 1830andndash;1880
SIX / andldquo;The Empire of Gastronomyandrdquo;: New York and the World, 1850andndash;1890and#160;Conclusion: From the Broadway Shambles to New Amsterdam MarketNotesIndex