The US literary magazine _Antaeus,_ publishing twice yearly in
trade-paperback book format, produced in Spring 1992 (Number 68) a
remarkable assembly of food essays. Contributors include Harry Crews, M. F.
K. Fisher, Betty Fussell, Evan and Judith B. Jones, Barbara Kafka, Madeleine
Kamman, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles Simic, and Alice Waters. Earlier work
appears from Colette, Alexandre Dumas, Charles Lamb, and Rose Macaulay.
Some contemporary writers refer in passing to each other, and to Chez
Panisse (then, as in the 1980s, occupying a phenomenon status, like the very
different restaurant French Laundry in the same region a decade later.)
Some of the content is remarkable. Waters ("The farm-restaurant connection")
on the vision and early history of Chez Panisse. Simic's casual food
memories, including a savory bean pot of his European childhood that for
once surpassed his ability to eat everything in sight. ("All Serbians ...
have their own opinion as to how this dish ought to be made. ... Almost
everybody adds bacon, pork ribs, sausage, paprika, and hot peppers...")
Bean pots are another pillar in the Comfort-Food Pantheon; the story got me
searching my larder. Just for general information, you understand.
Evan Jones's article on Delmonico's, and roots of US restaurants, was sent
to me by a chef friend not long after its appearance. (She found the book
remaindered for a dollar at a chain bookstore.) Swiss brothers Delmonico,
John a retired ship captain and Peter, set up in early 1800s near the
Battery in New York what we might now, in the US, call a "wine bar." With
attention to service, it became the pioneering high-end US restaurant.
Various writers with experiences there are quoted, and details I haven't
seen elsewhere. The colorful history of "Lobster Newberg." Ben Wenberg
(with a coastal shipping line to the Caribbean and South America) arriving
from sea one day demanding "a brazier and spirit lamp in order to
demonstrate a new lobster recipe," the popular dish going onto menu with his
name, then becoming "even more talked about after Wenberg was turned out of
Delmonico's following a fight he caused with another patron," the name of
the dish shifting to the anagram Newberg. (Some writers spell it Newburg,
even inconsistently. Recipe in _The Epicurean,_ the huge cookbook by
Delmonico's chef Charles Ranhofer, is #1037 under "Mollusks and
Crustaceans," "Lobster à la Newberg or Delmonico.")
As noted in publication details below, this issue of _Antaeus_ reappeared
1993 as a stand-alone book of food essays, with added introduction by its
editor, but without contributor notes and other back matter in the original,
which I found valuable. Both versions are readily and inexpensively
available used, by searching under the ISBN.
_Antaeus, Not for Bread Alone: Writers on Food, Wine, and the Art of
Eating._ Daniel Halpern, Editor. Number 68, Spring 1992. Published April
1992. Ecco Press, Hopewell, New Jersey. ISBN 0880012765. Back matter
includes contributor notes and advertisements for other literary periodicals
and books by Betty Fussell, Waverly Root and Richard de Rochemont, etc.
Re-issued 1993 as _Not for Bread Alone: Writers on Food, Wine, and the Art
of Eating._ Daniel Halpern, Editor. Ecco Press, Hopewell, New Jersey.
ISBN 088001346X. Includes 1993 introduction by Daniel Halpern.
RAB addendum: This is also posted to rec.food.cooking. In the 1980s and
1990s I would cross-post about food books to both newsgroups, but with
today's higher volume I parallel-posted