Booked for Lunch: 97 Orchard Street: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenemant

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Looking for a great read, something engaging and informative?

Come to “Booked for Lunch” A History Reading Group at the Wilton Historical Society

Discussing 97 Orchard Street: An Edible history of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenemant by Jane Ziegelman

Thursday, September 6, 2018 12:30 – 1:30

“The story…about Old World habits clashing and ultimately melding with new American ones, is familiar. But Ms. Ziegelman is a patient scholar and a graceful writer, and she rummages in these families’ histories and larders to smart, chewy effect. Dwight Garner, The New York Times

In 97 Orchard Street, 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 to forge a new life. Through the experiences of five families, all of them residents of 97 Orchard Street (now the Tenement Museum), she takes readers on a vivid and unforgettable tour, from impossibly cramped tenement apartments down dimly lit stairwells where children played and neighbors socialized, beyond the front stoops where immigrant housewives found respite and company, and out into the hubbub of the dirty, teeming streets. Includes 40 recipes.

“Highly entertaining and deceptively ambitious, the book resurrects the juicy details of breakfast, lunch and dinner (recipes included) consumed by poor and working-class New Yorkers a century and more ago. It could well have been subtitled “How the Other Half Ate”…Ziegelman adroitly works her way through the decades and her five cuisines. Along the way, there are fascinating diversions. —The New York Times Book Review
“Social history is, most elementally, food history. Jane Ziegelman had the great idea to zero in on one Lower East Side tenement building, and through it she has crafted a unique and aromatic narrative of New York’s immigrant culture: with bread in the oven, steam rising from pots, and the family gathering round.” — Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World

Participants bring a brown bag lunch, the Society provides a beverage and dessert. There is no charge, but please register. By email: info@wiltonhistorical.org or call 203-762-7257.