American history books do little to describe the plight of New York City during the Revolution for the simple reason that it was an enemy base.-- On the Town in New York: The Landmark History of Eating, Drinking, and Entertainments from the American Revolution to the Food Revolution by Michael and Ariane Batterberry.
So begins this classic culinary history of New York City, from 1776 to when the book was first published in 1973. The 25th anniversary edition that I have adds a chapter on the era from about 1970 to 1998.
So far, I'm up to the Civil War era. As the title suggests, the book is mostly about restaurant and hotel dining, not home cooking and not New York's agriculture or food production. This is about how people ate when they were On the Town.
I first read about this book when Anthony Bourdain recommended it in Kitchen Confidential.
It is the first book I am reading this year for the Foodie Reading Challenge. hosted by Margot at Joyfully Retired.