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Food City: Four Centuries of Food-Making in New York

Food City: Four Centuries of Food-Making in New York

Joy Santlofer
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This history of food-making in New York City begins with the Dutch settlers of what was then called New Amsterdam and comes right up to contemporary times and small-scale startups in home kitchens producing everything from caramel to kombucha.

The late Santlofer, who was a member of the food studies faculty at NYU, points out that in the middle of the 20th century, NYC produced more food than any other city in the world. And while many national brands such as Nabisco and Borden’s arose here, for much of its history, the city’s food needs have been supplied by local bakeries, breweries, dairies, and other small businesses.

Santlofer’s extended series of vignettes includes a great deal of local color (family rivalries, ingredient scandals, gossip) that capture the diversity and tumult of the New York food scene over the city’s history.

Cloth. B&W photos throughout. 

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