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97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement Paperback – 31 May 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (31 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061288519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061288517
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 776,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

In 97 Orchard, Jane Ziegelman explores the culinary life that was the heart and soul of New York's Lower East Side around the turn of the twentieth century--a city within a city, where Germans, Irish, Italians, and Eastern European Jews attempted

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wandrwoman on 30 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an intensely personal book for me. My father was born in 95 Orchard Street, directly next door to what is today the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side of New York City. The fourth child of immigrant parents, he was the first born in the US. A physician, a scientist, a bon vivant, my father was immensely proud of his heritage and of his Orchard Street-Lower East Side beginnings.

While growing up in New York City, I ate many of the same or similar foods that my parents ate as children, but to me, they were all jumbled up. I thought I knew the derivation of corned beef and cabbage, lasagna, fresh green salad, garlic dill pickles, rye bread and all the other foods put before me on the dining table. However, this book has been a real eye opener; an informative, nostalgic, and entertaining trip to my "roots".

Jane Ziegelman, the author of 97 Orchard, has written what is called "An Edible History" and it is just that. If one were to construct an immigrant-style recipe for this book one would perhaps say: "take a cup of history, a tablespoon each of sociology and anthropology, a pinch of original recipes, mix well, edit and print".

Five fascinating and interweaving chapters present the culinary history of five different immigrant families who resided in 97 Orchard Street over the course of a 70 year period. First the Glockner family from Germany, then the Moore's from Ireland, the German Jewish Gumpertz family, the Russian Jewish Rogarshevskys, and the Baldizzis from Italy each lived in the crowded tenement, and each contributed their culinary traditions to what Americans eat today.
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By Plym Carol on 12 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived within stated time & good price, and condition.. Thank-you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 114 reviews
69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
A Great Read 30 Jun. 2010
By Bonnie J. Lyons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard the author of this book on NPR and wanted to know more about the topic. I found this book fascinating. It shared many insights into life in the tenements of New York in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, most especially about the foodways of the immigrants. It was fascinating to read about the different groups and the "exotic" foods that they ate--some of which have become staples of our modern American diets. One small complaint was that I felt the book ended a bit abruptly. I think even a short conclusion or epilogue would have added to the book's closing.

If you do read this book, I'd also recommend looking up the website of the Tenement Museum in New York, which now occupies 97 Orchard Street. You can see addtional photographs and additional details about the lives of the families profiled in the book.

The Kindle formatting was good. The pictures mainly seemed to translate well, although some were small. But judging by a reviewer of the hardcover, this was also the case in the paper book.

The price was a bit high for a Kindle book, but I decided it was worth it for such a fascinating glimpse into the lives of our ancestors.
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
A good book for the new generation 4 July 2010
By M. F. H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the book was a classic in telling the story of immigrants.. I live in a small town in Pittsburgh and could relate to all that was written in the book.. The food especially and the hard life the immigrants were living then..We still have the same going on in Pittsburgh but with different ethinic groups , nigerians, hatian and mexicans. They live in smaller tenaments in the city and our trying to keep their heritage from evaporating in the American climate.. So a great book for a better understanding of immigrant heritage..
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
most interesting 12 July 2010
By Dolores T. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I heard an interview with the author on NPR radio and I ordered it that day. It didn't tell as much about the families themselves, but I suspect not much more was known than what Ms Zeigelman wrote.
The talk of food and the recipies were so descriptive that I had to go out and buy dark breads, cabbage, saurkraut, sausages, etc.
Having German and Polish parents I grew up with most of the food.
All in all, the book was entertaining as well as informative.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Living Food History 14 Sept. 2010
By S. Kessler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone who is fascinated by all things food, including and especially the history of food as a mirror of culture, I loved this book. In addition to the foodways of each of the immigrants in the United States, the author explores each family's food culture in their native land and then discusses what did and did not transfer to the U.S. and how their culture was then changed by the U.S. And, further, how the rest of America assimilated that which the immigrants brought with them and changed our food habits for the better.

I particularly loved the chapter about the Irish immigrant couple, which goes into significant detail about why the potato famine was as devastating as it was to a whole generation of Irish and how British land and export policies caused the tragedy in the first place. It's a not often told story and not well known. I thought it very interesting that the Irish immigration was largely an immigration of teenagers and young adults, rather than families, and included more young women than men.

The other favorite chapter was the one about the Polish-Russian Jews because that is my personal heritage. When I was a child in the 50s and 60s, my own immigrant parents from Poland fed us in pretty much the same way as the Jewish mother back at the turn of the 20th century. It was all very familiar to me.

The reason I have given 97 Orchard 4 instead of 5 stars is that I wanted the author to provide a concluding chapter that brought all the threads together, discussing the legacy of immigrant foodways to our eating habits today. The book seemed to to end with a "plop!" rather than tying the themes together. Maybe in a later addition the author could remedy this lack.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The Melting Pot's Cooking Pot 21 Nov. 2010
By Wandrwoman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an intensely personal book for me. My father was born in 95 Orchard Street, directly next door to what is today the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side of New York City. The fourth child of immigrant parents, he was the first born in the US. A physician, a scientist, a bon vivant, my father was immensely proud of his heritage and of his Orchard Street-Lower East Side beginnings.

While growing up, I ate many of the same or similar foods that my parents ate as children, but to me, they were all jumbled up. I thought I knew the derivation of corned beef and cabbage, lasagna, fresh green salad, garlic dill pickles, rye bread and all the other foods put before me on the dining table. However, this book has been a real eye opener; an informative, nostalgic, and entertaining trip to my "roots".

Jane Ziegelman, the author of 97 Orchard, has written what is called "An Edible History" and it is just that. If one were to construct an immigrant-style recipe for this book one would perhaps say: "take a cup of history, a tablespoon each of sociology and anthropology, a pinch of original recipes, mix well, edit and print".

Five fascinating and interweaving chapters present the culinary history of five different immigrant families who resided in 97 Orchard Street over the course of a 70 year period. First the Glockner family from Germany, then the Moore's from Ireland, the German Jewish Gumpertz family, the Russian Jewish Rogarshevskys, and the Baldizzis from Italy each lived in the crowded tenement, and each contributed their culinary traditions to what we Americans eat today.

One cannot underestimate the complexity and arduousness of the life of an immigrant woman trying to feed her family while living in a fifth floor tenement walk-up with no indoor plumbing or running water! Tubs of water (and everything else) had to be hauled up and down flights of stairs. This premium on water affected the way one cooked. Soups and one pot dishes were the most efficient methods of feeding large families nutritious and budget conscious meals. All ingredients were purchased fresh from the pushcart vendor or public market for the meal at hand. There was no refrigeration, no food storage. If the recipe called for three eggs you bought three eggs. Life was immediate and nothing was wasted.

How our lives have changed (thank goodness for that!) but our food traditions have endured.

I found the book highly entertaining and informative.

PS.I will be attempting the Eggplants in the Oven recipe soon.
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