There's no question Prohibition forced bartenders to get creative. The dubious quality of bootleg whiskey made mixers like ginger ale commonplace, and muddled fruit found its way into the formerly stodgy old-fashioned. When repeal arrived, the changes stuck, but not everyone was pleased. In 1936 the New York Times printed a letter signed by "Old Timer," who labeled the new-fangled old-fashioned "profanation and extortion." New Yorkers still take their spirits seriously; you just need to survey the current landscape of cocktail bars.Read More
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In 1902, roughly 20,000 Jewish women raided the Lower East Side’s kosher butcher shops and set fire to their meat to protest a nearly 50% price hike instituted by the Meat Trust. The citywide boycott that followed forced the trust to drop the price back to 14 cents per pound, but during the protest, the kosher community had no alternative but to forgo meat entirely. They wouldn’t face such a dilemma today. Once the sole province of butcher shops and home kitchens, kosher food has since become common in New York’s dining scene, gracing the tables of romantic bistros, chic vegan bakeries, and upscale steakhouses alike.Read More
In America, ramen restaurants have begun popping up like flavorful enoki mushrooms in nearly every major city. But pay a visit to Japan, and you’ll find that the west remains in its ramen infancy. All across Japan, quick-service ramenyas ply lunchtime crowds with hot bowls of Chinese-style wheat noodles and tender pieces of pork floating in a meat- or seafood-based broth. Veterans of these eateries have a tip for newcomers: don't be shy about slurping your noodles—it cools them off and aerates the soup, which adds flavor.Read More