Everything Old is New Again

July 30, 2014

I've been working – finally – on my memoir of the Gourmet days, and the other day I found myself trolling through the magazine's very first issue.  

Mostly it's a testament to how much things have changed.  But then I came upon this…..

"Food Flashes" by Clementine Paddleford

“Come the last, mad midnight of 1940, when the bells are belling and the crowds are yelling, let smoke snacks bombard the senses.  America has gone smoke crazy.  Deep within us all persists a natural craving for the taste of wood smoke. That yearning is a heritage harkening back millions of generations, perhaps, to some dim memory from the paleolithic age when the first true men ate meat roasted over a forest fire. Now the craving is easily satisfied. That leathery smokehouse smell is getting its dark perfume into every kind of food. 

For the holiday party may we suggest a smoked suckling pig.  Serve his brown majesty kneeling on a parsley bed.  His quizzical eyebrows are of lemon peel, his eyes are slices of stuffed olive, the apple in his mouth, a rosy lady apple.  Ornamental is the word for this hickory-smoked sweet morsel, the average weight seven pounds for around $5 at R.H. Macy’s. 

Then smoked turkeys, smoked oysters, smoked Wisconsin cheese, smoked salt.. 


I like the idea of the smokehouse smell being "leathery."  And I very much like the price: all you can hold for five bucks. 



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  • can’t wait for your memoir. Just finished Delicious yesterday. Love Love Love it. I really regret not coming to see you at the Dahlia in Seattle but I won’t miss your next book tour. More novels please.
    Huge fan.

  • Starved and drooled all through “Delicious!” and now reading “Garlic and Sapphires” same exact thing happening. Made my heart ache for NYC and all of the wonderful restaurants they have there. Would love to hear about the LA restaurants and San Francisco as well. Heard your interview on NPR promoting “Delicious!” and what you said about Blue Hills at Stone Barns. Can’t wait to taste Dan’s daily creations. I shall go for the six courses.

  • JRdrinks says:

    Adjusted for inflation, that’s a little over $80 in today’s money. Have fun diving back into those archives!

  • alexis says:

    summer always sends my senses to smoked dishes. and yes, “leathery” is such a wonderful word. I just tasted an aged tea that was described as leathery and slight tobacco. p.s. can’t wait for your gourmet memoir!

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