1940s Archive

Food Flashes

Originally Published February 1944

Deer are herding into the E. Joseph cold rooms in Washington Market. Deer, this winter's unrationed red meat, has a demand tenfold over that of previous winters. These deer come for the most part from private game preserves.

One of the most popular of game treats in a man's opinion is roast saddle of venison, the roast weighing three pounds and up, turned out well larded with salt pork, strapped around with bacon, ready for the roasting pan.

There is elk meat off and on, this a lighter meat than venison, juicy, tender, and fine-grained. It's a meat with little natural fat; so see that it is well larded with salt pork before the cooking.

No reindeer this winter from Alaska, but native buffalo has returned.

Game bird counters are barren. Only occasional small shipments of birds come from London when shipping space is available for such non-essential items.

A treat of treats is the Canadian wild goose, big as a turkey almost, weighing sixteen to twenty pounds each, selling at 80 cents a pound at the E. Joseph market. It's a bird with only a vaguely gamy flavor, with less fat than the domestic duck, of lighter frame and better meated.

There are little suckling pigs, pink and dainty—and some not so dainty—weighing up to twenty pounds. The price for infants under fifteen pounds is 70 cents a pound; pigs weighing more are 65 cents; and only three points a pound for whole pigs.

Good rabbit hunting at E. Joseph's. Jacks, cottontails, and Canadian snow hares in the bag.

Pretzels have been streamlined from big twisters to little twisters, from long sticks to short sticks, from thick sticks to twigs, and now the twigs are cut into shorts, giving pretzels the exact size of old-fashioned shoe buttons.

Handy they are to eat, toasted dark brown and crisp. And according to the pretzel tradition, they wear a sprinkling of coarse salt. These crispy, salty buttons, called “Pretzel Bitz,” are in several stores, for one, B. Altman & Company, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street.

Roses remain red. Violets stay blue. Sugar is still sweet, and so are you, even if dear Valentine's gone to the wars. But hush! No tender sentiments, mind you, no lace-edged hearts for soldier Joe. It is edible sweetness in a mannish box that will make you his queen of hearts, his sugar pie. B. Altman's, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, have the very Valentine —a box of Mackintosh toffee—masculine as pipe and tweeds. This is the English toffee of John Mackintosh and Sons, Ltd., famous the world over. But it's a toffee made in America—made in Ireland, too, in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, all by one formula coming from the mother factory at Halifax, England. It is made in the countries where sold rather than being imported, because toffee is its best only when fresh. The candy “grains” with age, and the smooth, rich flavor, which is at once toffee's characteristic and charm, is lost.

The C. N. Miller Co. of Boston, which holds the exclusive rights in the United States to make and sell this candy, is equipped by the English firm with toffee-making machinery exactly like that used in the Halifax plant. The toffee produced is as smooth as silk to the tongue, with nothing of the harsh, grainy structure of cheaper toffees and caramels. The flavors are assorted, delicate without being strong. Each piece is individually wrapped, the 1-pound box selling for 60 cents. There are more expensive assortments, too, if you wish.

Pear vinegar is the new condiment of the month introduced from the West by Hammacher Schlemmer's Connoisseur Shop, 145 East 57th Street, New York City. It's a vinegar brewed of the regal Bartlett Pears grown on the edge of the Joshua-tree-covered sands of the Mohave desert, a vinegar first applauded in the dining room of a dude ranch hostelry. Guests would taste of the mellow stuff and ask to buy a bottle to lug along. So persistently did they ask, that nine years ago, that the maker began bottling the brew,—some to sell by mail order, some to supply the fine food shops of the West Coast. Now pear vinegar bows into the East, the one-fifth bottle selling for 98 cents.

No cull pears are used for this condiment. Each fruit must be a perfect specimen and used at its full flavor peak. Something of the pears' rich flavor, the lush ripe aroma, and the fruit sugar pectin is retained through the aged-in-the-wood process, slow-mellowed in nature's own way for fully two years. Here is a vinegar that, like a fine wine, invites the palate with bouquet. Dressings made with this pale, sunny liquid are of transcendental merit. Use pear vinegar in a mayonnaise, irreproachable for a fresh lobster salad.

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