97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement

97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement

by Jane Ziegelman

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“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

97 Orchard is a richly detailed investigation of the lives and culinary habits—shopping, cooking, and eating—of five families of various ethnicities living at the turn of the twentieth century in one tenement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. With 40 recipes included, 97 Orchard is perfect for fans of Rachel Ray’s Hometown Eats; anyone interested in the history of how immigrant food became American food; and “foodies” of every stripe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061997907
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 26,880
Lexile: 1280L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Jane Ziegelman is the director of the Tenement Museum's culinary center and the founder and director of Kids Cook!, a multiethnic cooking program for children. Her writing on food has appeared in numerous publications, and she is the coauthor of Foie Gras: A Passion. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Table of Contents


Introduction xiii

1 The Glockner FamilyP1

2 The Moore Family 47

3 The Gumpertz Family 83

4 The Rogarshevsky Family 125

5 The Baldizzi Family 183

Notes 229

Bibliography 235

Photo Credits 239

Index 241

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97 Orchard 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very informative book on the history of food of the many immigrants who migrated to New York. One could almost imagine the families sitting down to dinner with their foods that they had gathered and prepared from the many push carts and their own gardens. Thought it was very amuzing that the Italian food was not considered very healthy and good for you to eat. Today it is referred to as the Mediterranean diet. It is now considered healthy and very delicious. Everyone loves pasta and pizza. It was interesting to see how the "Americans" tried to Americanized the immigrants. The immigrants still kept their traditional foods and we are benefiting today from those traditions in our culinary tastes. Enjoyed the recipes.
discerningwoman More than 1 year ago
I read a prior review and synopsis on this book and was MORE delighted than I could imagine. It gave me a "delicious" insight into how our appetites have been shaped by the immigrant women of an Eastside tenement on 97 Orchard. The included recipes lure me in to new found delights. The actual history that Ms Ziegelman brings forth are new revelations to me on some experiences of these immigrants and the life conditions they lived! Very original and a rare find.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is fascinating. It shared many insights into life in the tenements on New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries most especially about foodways of the immigants
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thisis agood read for any one with an immigrant parent or grandparent . It resonates whether you are grrman iris italian or irish.
BonnieMcCune More than 1 year ago
The Imprint of Immigrant Lives and Food Lives on Today While wars, politics, and epidemics may direct the ways of nations and power-brokers, for most of us daily life is the stuff of our hopes, fears and affections. And it is more difficult to track and plot than the systems of the major movers and shakers because it’s comprised of millions of individuals. I find it more fascinating, partly because of its complexity, partly its immediacy, mostly because the emotions and thoughts of everyday people resonant more with me. When the author opens the doors to a New York tenement over the period of a century, introducing five families as the vehicle to convey social trends and customs, she gave me a small sense of what those people, as well as some of my own ancestors, experienced as they became part of the American scene. Food played a big role in the incentive for immigration, the way of life and how it adapted, as well as just how lucky we are to have the diversity of recipes we do. Although the five families aren’t as large a part of the narrative as I hoped, I got a sense of the struggles inherent in carving a niche in the sometimes antagonistic, always challenging setting of this country. Fascinating details not conveyed in history class come to light. For example, Jews raised live poultry in the basements of tenements. Pity the poor chickens. Recipes are included along the way, although I doubt I have the skill or time to try most of them
cameling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Through the 19th and 20th century, New York has seen waves of immigrants from various countries. In the 1800s, blocks of apartments known as tenements were developed specifically to house the incoming immigrants. The author concentrates on 5 families that lived at 97 Orchard in New York through the 1800s and early 1900s, and divides the book according to each family of Germans, German Jews, the Irish, Russian Jews and Italians.These families however, appear rather briefly in each chapter and seemed to be incidental to what the author wished to share. The focus of the book really is a sociological study into why these waves of immigrants decided to come to America, how they came over, when Ellis Island was established, the food cultures these immigrants brought with them, how they adapted to the American way of life, the different trades that sprouted because of the different immigrants around the tenements to provide them with the ingredients from their homelands and more interestingly, how some of these immigrant foods have been adopted into the American food culture through the years.Some old recipes are also provided from each culture in each chapter as were copies of some of the food shopping lists and accounts from each period. The sociological aspects of the book rivaled, in my opinion, the food history, and made this one of the more fascinating books I've read this year.
Eliz12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A sometimes interesting enough book, but unfortunatly quite flawed. It is not the story of five immigrant families, but instead about immigrants in general and food. There's actually very little real detail about the individual families.The information is good, but often repetitive (this needed a good editor), and there were actually mistakes in the text: was the girl Natalea or Natalie, for example, and it's Reform Judaism, not Reformed Judaism.
book58lover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am throughly enjoying reading this book although it really isn't a "history of five immigrant families". That is just a lynchpin for the real discussion of food and eating history. What I found the most informative is the section on Ellis Island which I consider worth the price of the book. I always like it when I learn something that I wouldn't have had an inkling of and this was it. The recipes are priceless as well and I will try to make some of them, although this is not a cookbook.
wolves_away on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the premise was misleading--information on the families was minimal--I knew so little about the culinary history of America and am really just beginning to connect to food that I found "97 Orchard" fascinating anyway.
wearylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps a subtitle for this book should be The Book of Lists. The author doesn't seem to want to leave anything out and some of the "lists" seem endless. While the book is about food and the immigrants of the 1800's in New York, it has little to do with the title. The author discusses the five immigrant families in passing, and there is little real information on them. Mainly, when the families are mentioned, it is in passing with a comment that perhaps this family ate this, or this family could have bought their meat from this vendor...I was hoping for more information on the five families, their personal voyage to the New World, and their lives at 97 Orchard. There are little real facts and a lot of supposition where the families are concerned. I finished the book but I had to force myself to get to the end, and I have never been so glad to reach the end of a book! Maybe a chef or someone in the food industry would find this book appealing, but it didn't live up to my expectations.
setornow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in this book after reading the published reviews. The expectation was that it was truly following 5 families as they lived at 97 Orchard Street, but it had very little information about the actual families. Marriages and births, but that was about it. Considering that she found that the Irish immigrants had so little cuisine on which to draw, I don't know why she even included them. Not what I expected.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
97 Orchard is the closest thing I've found to time travel -- something I, as an amateur genealogist, would sign up for in a heartbeat! The author is an amazing writer, able to weave together lots of facts without overwhelming the reader ... and tell a terrific story. (Actually, several terrific stories.)Ms. Ziegelman has obviously done her homework ... and I learned SO much about Ellis Island, immigrant cuisine, and many other topics that shed a light on my own immigrant ancestors and the world they faced. Although I read a library copy of the book, I plan to buy it to add to my "read-again" collection. I would recommend 97 Orchard to anyone who loves history or genealogy ... or foodies interested in what REAL people ate back in the day. (After reading the section on Irish "cuisine," I plan to eat my first corned-beef and cabbage meal ever.)Folks with German, Irish, German Jewish, Russian-Lithuanian Jewish or Italian ancestry owe it to themselves to read this book. (My own German ancestors came to the US in the 1850s, just as one of the five families did.) Although I see that other readers were disappointed not to learn more about the "five families" referred to in the subtitle, I was not. Maybe it is a matter of expectations ... or that I know I could use my genealogy skills to find out more about the five families if I wanted to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book isn't at all what I thought it was, but I enjoyed it just the same.
KatrinaAZ More than 1 year ago
Well researched. Interesting to move right in with people of another time and see life from their perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
97 Orchard Street is in the neighborhood where I was raised. Yet, I never visited the street until last summer. The Museum was fascinating. Ziegelman's book enriched that experience. Not only did she describe procurement of food she provided the recipes. A worthwhile read,
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