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Dining By Rail: The History and Recipes of America's Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine Paperback – May 15, 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“...mouthwatering...A sumptuous social history, complete with recipes.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“A wonderful book of interesting information and great food.” ―Merle Ellis, Host of "Cookin' USA," The Nashville Network
“Readers...may find this book fulfilling their wildest dreams...invaluable...For authentic American [cuisine] presented without campiness or apology, this is the source.” ―Publishers Weekly
“[A] loving look at dining cars, first-class meals, and the vanished romance of rail travel.” ―Beverly Bundy, Staff Writer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“...unique, practical and highly informative...Besides 150 priceless photographs, the book contains...simple and easy-to-follow recipes.” ―The Virginia Quarterly Review
“...an entertaining and scholarly book...eloquent.” ―John P. Hankey, Chief Curator, B&O Railroad Museum
“...fascinating...If you're a rail enthusiast who loves to cook, you'll be delighted.” ―The Milwaukee Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
"Railroad dining" may sound like arcane history, but there is a lot of information about general railroad history, design and maintenance in addition to the fascinating history of passenger service. George Pullman is now one of my heroes.
The recipes themselves are a fascinating look at what was "fancy" back in the early 1900's. Lots of game meat, fish, no vegetable or ethnic entrees. I'm not sure if I'll ever make anything out of this book, but some of them do look good.
If you're a railfan or a foodie (or both, like me), get this book. Very well researched and written.
You will find the recipes easy to use and interesting to explore. There are multiple recipes for French Toast - our family has come to use the Santa Fe recipe often.
The book is well written and carefully researched. The pictures are evocative, and the recipes very easy to follow and recreate.
Altogether, this book is providing my son and me with a interesting and tasty railroad education!
Firstly, this ignores as do many American books the rest of the world and makes of course no claim to do otherwise. This is its only flaw really; otherwise it covers the subject in unbelievable detail.
Second, it's two books in one, with history more or less chronologically presented in the first half and with recipes and some information boxes in the second.
Third, Porterfield trawled 7500 recipes to select 350 (I think it is) and lists them by Railroad and indexes them by type & Railroad. He has also selected recipes that are more akin to current food trends (i.e. leaving out those running in rivers of fat and oil or excessively heavy, I also suspect he has tried to keep the complexity down).
He claims to have tried everything included and the 1 or 2, I have tried or modified and tried have been workable - i.e. they work like Delia Smith's do! I have made Strawberry & Rhubarb Pie, though with bought pastry or as a turnover/crumble and followed some of the recipe for Roast Turkey (substituting a corn fed chicken as its only September) but omitted the rice stuffing as we tend to eat rice with our mains for convenience. The Railroads potato recipes are interesting though we seldom eat potatoes so haven't tried them yet but the idea of 2 different types, one used to stuff another is indicative of the care even baked potatoes got from the Railroad. There are several French Toast recipes as it seems it was a breakfast favourite on most lines.
Fourth, as you read the first half you'll wonder into the second half and want to cook something or at least get a snack so this is a warning to you!Read more ›
With all that said, I found James D. Porterfield's "Dining by Rail" to be a fascinating book. The 150-or-so-page Section I, "From Soot to Soufflé: Eating on the Train," relates, in great detail and in a highly readable style, the history of dining on trains. The tale starts with trackside food shacks and entrepreneurial purveyors of comestibles who roamed the aisles of passenger cars with fruits, sandwiches, snacks and drinks, all of questionable provenance, in the 1830s. The tale pretty much ends with the glory days of railroad culinary excellence over 100 years later, in the "Golden Age" of the 1930s, when specially equipped and staffed dining cars catered to every appetite of rail travelers, offering fine foods and superb service rivaling that of the finest hotels. Mr. Porterfield tells the whole story of how railroad dining concepts, cuisines, equipment and crews evolved in the years between.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought as gift for my boyfriend. Our fathers had been friends, railroad enthusiasts and model railroaders, so I wanted something that would recreate part of our childhood and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Deb T
Great cookbook. Lots of interesting history stories and pictures. The recipes are tasty sounding. Recommend cookbook.Published 6 months ago by Susan Campbell-Skelly
Well researched. Some seriously excellent recipes in here. Have used these for some parties. Everyone liked them. A lot.Published 8 months ago by Lorene McTigue
The definitive book about dining on the railroads. I'm a big fan of the Golden Age of passenger trains and fine dining as well... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jerry Carroll
i am thrilled with this book. it discusses the history of finding food at a station, whistle-stop, and later fancy dining cars. the recipes look wonderful. Read morePublished 20 months ago by charlie starbuck?
Great reading, and great recipes! That's all you need in a cookbook!Published 20 months ago by Marcia F. Grunwaldt