“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are” said Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, author of the well-known handbook entitled ‘Physiologie du goût,’ wrote in 1825.
Food tells a lot about a culture. So does menus.nypl, the website that has already transcribed 17,545 historical restaurant menus, dating from the 1850s to the present.
They were taken from the New York Public Library’s menu collection, housed in the Rare Book Division, which is made up of 45,000 items. As the menus tell us, it’s been many decades since Americans fell in love with pizza with mozzarella cheese, Parma raw ham, cream of tomato, spaghetti with tomato sauce (or Bolognaise sauce, which is a hystorical error), homemade cheese ravioli, risotto, and Sicilian cassata.
AMERICANS HAVE EATEN PASTA FOR CENTURIES
What’s on the Menu, is the online project launched in 2011, “is a tremendous educational resource that breathes life into our city’s most beloved restaurants and dishes,” said Rich Torrisi, named among Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs. Historians, chefs, novelists and everyday food enthusiasts can find Tony’s Italian Kitchen menu, for instance. Continue Reading →