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Eat The City: A Tale Of The Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, And Brewers Who Built New York

New York, the city of money, glass, and concrete, seems like no kind of place to produce food. Yet in this smart, funny, and beautifully written book, Robin Shulman places today's urban food production in the context of hundreds of years of history, tracing the changing ways we live and eat. As Shulman tells the story of New York's ability to feed people, she also shows the things we've always longed for in the cities that we build: closer human connections and a sense of something pure.      Food, of course, is about hunger—but it's also about community. With humor and insight, Eat the City shows how, in places like New York, people have always found ways to use their collective hunger to build their own kind of city.

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Broadway Books (May 21, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0307719065

ISBN-13: 978-0307719065

Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches

Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #751,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #136 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > U.S. Regional > Middle Atlantic #838 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > Essays #900 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Homebrewing, Distilling & Wine Making

A fun and informative....and hunger inducing read.This is a mouth watering, thirst inducing story of culinary New York both past and present. Shulman alternately sketches the history of New York City and its relationship to a particular food or beverage juxtaposed against a current entrepreneur who's attempting to start their own brewery, work their own bee hives, market premium meat, etc. Her descriptions made me want to go out and grab some of whatever she was describing. The fascinating part is that often it was and is recent immigrants who start or build on these industries in an attempt to honor the traditions they've left behind. Germans missed the delicious beer from home, Trinidadians missed fresh seafood dishes, Jews wanted kosher wines to honor the shabbat, and the Italians HAD to have wine every day, etc. Now tell me your mouth isn't already watering?? New York City is a fairly small place with a huge population. Each block can change from one ethnicity to another and each group has their own unique palates. I loved the passion of these immigrants and learning about what excited and motivated them. Shulman focuses on groups and making individuals. Her humor is as refreshing as the food. And is there any better, more descriptive title than, "Eat the City"? New York culinary history is not unabated fun however. The history of water pollution throughout the city's history makes the seafood industry depressing. Most of the seafood now served in New York is from out of state. Prohibition almost killed the bear and wine industries and brought a criminal element to these formerly pleasurable industries. On the other hand in bee keeping was made legal again in 2010 and Shulman's jaunt through the city on bee's wings is exhilarating. A fun and informative....

New York is a city that never sleeps, is always changing and never fails to surprise the unwary. A city that is renowned for its finance and tourism industries, you might be forgiven for forgetting that there is an entire food production world operating within the city limits. Author Robin Schulman aims to change that memory lapse.In this very thick, obvious labour of love, Schulman looks at New Yorkers past and present who each have a particular story to tell as to why they are keeping bees, refining sugar and countless other food production activities. In the big city where anonymity is invariably inevitable a number of personalities shine out through their relatively uncommon occupations and activities.Of course, food production has to take place somewhere and this happens also within the New York city limits, yet the activities showcased by Schulman are not owned by megacorps and neither are they just hobbies by the eccentric or over-enthusiastic.Take for example the rooftop beekeeper mentioned in this book. He has hives dotted all over the city in what would be prized penthouse locations with a price to match for humans. It seems surreal that he might be travelling with beekeeper garb clanking from his belt as he rides the subway, yet the majority of New Yorkers fail to register this possibly strange sight. Sometimes when driving his pickup truck, complete with bees "hovering" above the truck's flat bed, he is an apian Pied Piper with his own mini swarm for company. Yet this does not ordinarily generate much of a response either, other than the odd comment from a cop who is more used to people carrying drugs about than honey and their stinging protectors.The book is full of interesting colourful tales that beggar belief.

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