1940s Archive

Food Flashes

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For fish aristocrats of ocean, lake, and river, go to Wynne and Treanor, 712 Madison Avenue, Jewelled beauties cased under glass sparkle against a background of ice. Spattered with jewel dust is the speckled trout—silver grey, dotted in brown, spotted with rose. Not a trout there weighs more than half a pound, one trout to a serving, sold boned and stuffed with what you please. But to everyone's pleasure is a stuffing of green shrimp. Sauté the trout as usual, and serve with shrimp sauce. Stuffed or unstuffed, rainbows of the brook sell at 75 cents apiece.

Those deviled crabs in the case are made in the orthodox manner by young Ellen Grey, 800 Madison Avenue, made with eggs, butter, cream, and Sherry in their get-together. And orthodox, regarding butter, means one pound to thirty crabs. The meat is the big, sweet, lump kind packed in Crisfield, Md., and also in Hampton, Va.

The Nova Scotia salmon is smoked for the store by a Russian who had a million-dollar smoking business in Paris before Hitler took over. It's a light smoking for salmon, to give a delicate wood-fire flavor, but not to muffle the salmon's sweetness. This sells at $2.50 a pound, sliced leaf thin, selling now to use with fresh asparagus as an entrée. Asparagus spikes are steamed as usual, dipped in melted butter, the tender tip end rolled in a thin salmon slice. Yes, exactly as Virginia ham was used in the pre-ration days. Hot Hollandaise adds a final blanket of warmth.

Buckwheat cakes spread with buckwheat honey—that's the next thing to going straight to heaven. Buckwheat's frail, orchid-like flowers of the beesweet odor provide a honey, Parnassan. We like the idea that the self-same blossom giving the honey, dark as rubbed walnut, can beget the dark grain blessed with the delectable flavor that comes to greatest power baked into a pancake. A buckwheat honey spread is around in the stores. R. H. Macy, Broadway and Thirty-fourth Street, has the 16-ounce carton for 29 cents.

Glazed nuts of a superior quality are Joffe's of Brooklyn, selling in numerous stores, the 11-ounce jar, about 50 candied pieces, $1.35. The nuts, once you get through the crystal-clear candy to the heart of the matter, are crisp and fresh tasting. An unusual assortment it is: almonds, cashews, English walnuts, pecans, and hazel nuts, with almonds in the majority and the best eating. A jacket of sweet glaze around a toasted almond is a blessing on the tongue. Ask for these at Maison Glass, 15 East 47th Street.

Look into the pastry case of Old Denmark, Inc. located at 135 East 57th Street, and let memory conjure up visions of the mouth-watering good things of Danish fairy tales—“sugar hearts,” “cakes bursting with raisins,” “flowers tasting sweeter than jam.” There, among the paper-thin ginger wafers, the honey sweets, the shortbreads, is a new collection of little cakes, the “Petits Danois,” packed 28 pieces in a transparent box, ¾ pound, price $1.90. The cakes are of rich shortbread dough cut into rings and sandwiched together with a variety of fillings. Some have orange cream, some have raspberry, still others are filled with a blackberry cream, some with nougat. The frostings are of five different kinds, but chocolate is best.

For a pleasing taste pucker to accompany stew everlasting, help yourself to a fresh, pickled green tomato. These come about one dozen to a quart jar, packed in herb-scented vinegar. Garlic is there, but not too much to override the fine flavor of dill. The tomatoes are meaty and firm, about golf ball size. Add one tomato, chopped, to the cabbage salad. Save the vinegar for a French dressing. The Dover Delicatessen, 683 Lexington Avenue, has the quart jar for 39 cents.

Maple's nectar runs again, bright, clear, fragrant. Sap trickles from the maples in the great orchards of Vermont, Ohio, and New York, and in the lesser orchards of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maine, Massachusetts, and Maryland. “Drip, drip, drip,” says the sap to the bucket. It's the “spring of the spring,” says the wind to the tree. In the sugar bushlands there is a wisp of smoke here, a cloud of steam there rising from the sweet liquid boiling into syrup. Enough syrup is coming to drown a billion pancakes. Again to the stores come the spring-fresh maple sugar patties, grainy and light. Spread a waffle with the paddled maple cream, and all is yours—and without benefit of ration stamps. America House, 485 Madison Avenue, has its usual fine selection of these maple sweet delicacies.

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