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Gastropolis: Food and New York City (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) Hardcover – December 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231136536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231136532
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


While New York may be the subject of more food writing than any other site in the United States, this volume will surprise, enchant, and enlighten. The collection shines.

(Frederick Kaufman, author of A Short History of the American Stomach)

Gastropolis is a fun read, specifically for those who have watched their culture rise and blossom in this great variegated city.


A veritable feast.

(Sam Roberts New York Times)


A highly original collection. I know of no other book quite like it. The authors and editors are exceptionally fine writers and scholars in the emerging area of food studies.

(Warren Belasco, professor of American studies, University of Maryland, and author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took On the Food Industry)

More About the Author

Jonathan Deutsch is a classically trained chef and Professor in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York and the Doctor of Public Health Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. After studying culinary arts and hospitality management at the Culinary Institute of America and Drexel University, he earned his Ph.D. in food studies and food management at New York University. He is the author of Culinary Improvisation, a culinary textbook that is reinvigorating culinary education by creating an artistic studio space in the kitchen, taking students far beyond recipe replication. He worked in a variety of foodservice settings including catering, institutions, product development, restaurants and luxury inns, both in the US and abroad. He currently cooks, teaches, writes and consults on food and foodservice.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pam Warren's Picks on January 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have any opinion at all about food...and about cultural life connected to food, then you have a food voice. This well written and creatively constructed collection of cultural food stories from many of our real-life, die-hard foodies tells the story of NY's food history from the very earliest times and picks-up speed quickly into the 21st century. This retrospective of NY's past foodways is truly enlightening and the stories about NY's multicultural foods and family-run businesses are not to be missed. As I said, the food voice in this book is like finely pitched opera as it starts out slowly with fascinating tones and reaches many highs...enough to have your food voice singing as you read. You'll love it for the stories behind the foods you eat and know well, and you'll be fascinated by all the things you didn't know about them as well.
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Format: Paperback
A passionate literary celebration of New York City's smorgasbord of cuisines, "Gastropolis" is worthy of top billing on the bookshelves of anyone interested in reading about New York City's culinary history as told by a most capable group of writers. Edited by the likes of professional chef and food studies professor Jonathan Deutsch and food and nutrition professor Annie Hauck-Lawson, "Gastropolis" is part memoir, part history, and part travelogue amidst global ethnic cuisines that have found a home here in New York City, America's most internationally-oriented city. "Gastropolis" is divided into four parts: "Places", "People", "Trade", and "Symbols", which incorporate everything from culinary history to memoir and iconographic celebrations of New York culinary staples such as bagels.

"Places" traces New York's culinary history from the perspectives of anthropology and memoir. Anne Mendelson traces the roots of that history from the perspective of the region's earliest known inhabitant, the Algonquin Lenapes. Andrew Smith follows with a terse, informative, and intriguing account, noting how New York City cuisine was transformed from its earliest Dutch and British settlers to those of later arrivals, most notably, German Jews, by the middle 19th Century, until, by the time of the creation of greater New York City in 1898, the city had become a culinary metropolis whose tastes reflected that of the entire globe. Nan Rothschild describes archaeological studies of 18th and 19th Century New York, providing a more extensive look at the food that was grown locally and eaten by Manhattan's residents.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Hoffman, author:Radiation Days: A Comedy VINE VOICE on January 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The editors of this volume begin by telling us that "New Yorkers have formed relationships with food that have helped shape the identity of their great city." You might find this statement unexceptionable: isn't it true of every city that its characteristic foods are part of its identity?
You would be right in saying that, but it's the nature and extent of New York's connection that is, as far as I know, unique. In New York, the food traditions of dozens of people wash up on the shore to be tasted by every citizen. Part of the mark of being a 'real' New Yorker is that you know, and have definite and unshakeable opinions about several ethnic cuisines. A real New Yorker can tell you where to find the best soup dumplings and also the best quesadilla. He probably has an allegiance to at least one fresh mozzarella maker and one sushisei. To be a New York foodie, the senza qua niente is that you have to be broad and deep.
This thoughtful collection has a judicious balance of reminiscence and cultural-study, a mix of first-person and footnote. You should read it, you'll sound like a New Yorker.

Lynn Hoffman, author of bang BANG
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Annie Lanzillotto author of L is for Lion on August 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
A trip through New York City, old and new. From Lenape to Fusion cuisine.

You can read this book like a guidebook on neighborhoods and NYC food history.
You will hear New York voices shout of food.
This is a NYC prism of ethnicity and spices from the woman who coined the phrase "food voice" -- Annie Hauck Lawson, and her brilliant co-editor chef Jonathan Deutsch.

Read each luscious voice of every chapter and visit each neighborhood in every borough and eat and sing.

Today's visitors to New York City search for authentic New York amidst a barrage of superstores they see in their hometowns. Where is New York? Certainly within these pages. From Lenape Indians on... food culture has taken place on our blessed island - here it is expertly told. And lively. Over 300 pages, with some photos. This book makes the greatest gift for foodies and lovers of NYC.


Annie Lanzillotto
author of "L is for Lion: an italian bronx butch freedom memoir" SUNY Press
and "Schistsong" BORDIGHERA Press

L Is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir (SUNY series in Italian/American Culture)
Schistsong (Via Folios)
Blue Pill
Carry My Coffee (Live)
Eleven Recitations
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