Ned Ward’s Two Threads of Beer

In the past, I’ve drawn attention to the fact that there were thread variants apart from the well-known “three threads”, a London beer type of the early 1700s. Three threads, aka three thirds, was a mixed beer which preceded porter and for which porter emerged after 1720, or IMO, as a substitute. There were two threads, three threads, four threads, and six threads, at least, and apparently also, single thread.

I’ve correlatively explained my ideas that the thread and porter terms were inspired by London silk weaving terminology of circa-1700. This is the first new theory of porter’s origin in a few hundred years.

For an overview, see this post of mine from last December which references my previous writings.

The other day, in writing on New York “beefsteak” history, I came across references to a two threads in writings of the pamphleteer and author Edward or Ned Ward.  He wrote The Secret History of Clubs in 1709, later reprinted under other titles including A Compleat and Humorous Account of All the Remarkable Clubs and Societies in the Cities of London and Westminster.

Ward makes two references in this book to two-threads, one of the thread variants.

He states that “brawny Wine-Porters, and sturdy Carmen used to strengthen their backs with full Winchesters of powerful Two Threads”. Winchester was a measure of beer. Carmen were drivers of horse-led trams. Porters, of whom there were various kinds, of course traditionally have been linked to the name of the beer, porter. Here you see a link suggestive of that naming origin, not the only one but it’s interesting to see the term “wine-porter” used.

Ward also mentions a “rare found [sound] beer” “deliciously improved” with a “dash” of a “humming two Thirds”.

See pp 227 and 318 in the Compleat book for the original texts.

Ward is known in beer historical studies for having mentioned, in other writings, “casks of threads call’d three”. The latter first came to my attention via Martyn Cornell’s work.

I can’t recall that Ward’s double reference to a two threads form of beer has been reviewed, hence this notice. One can speculate what Ward meant. Maybe two threads was brown ale and brown beer mixed, and the “rare found beer” may have been (aged) pale beer. Or perhaps two threads was all-ale, different strengths, and was mixed with a pale or brown beer.

Ward’s two threads was fairly strong, evidently, as the terms powerful and humming suggest. Could three threads and higher have been yet stronger, as one can infer from the range of beers offered in the Fortune of War in Goodman’s Field (see my earlier writings)?

Mixing two threads with another beer, a “rare” one, sounds like a palate adjustment versus gaining more alcohol, especially as the adjustment is “delicious”. Was two threads plus the beer mentioned the same as Ward’s “threads called three”?

The puzzle continues.

 

New York’s First Beefsteak Club May Date From 1700s

A Dual Tradition but Same Root?

A few more references in connection with my recent (starting July 2, 2017) New York beefsteak posts. In 1876, a detailed look at New York and English club life mentioned the English Beefsteak Club but no equivalent body in New York. The writer was Willian Conant Church, a well-known journalist who had founded a magazine, The Galaxy, with his brother.

The elegant menu of a Beefsteak Club in New York, venue unspecified, that I discussed recently is dated 1878. I would infer, therefore, that New York acquired a London-style club after Church’s article. It is possible the American Beefsteak Club existed before and Church did not know about it, but this seems rather doubtful to me.

The 1878 menu bears the golden gridiron image, long associated with some English steak clubs. Without going into their history in detail, suffice to say that the origins are prosaic. They are attested in 1709 by Edward Ward in his Secret History of London Clubs, see John Timbs’ 19th century club history. Ned Ward, as he was known – the same figure of porter history (the beer) –  stated the “imperial Phiz” offered a “broiled sliver off the juicy rump of a fat, well-fed bullock” with its well-appreciated beers.

Is it a stretch to link “sliver” with the small slices of beef characteristic of the typical American beefsteak dinner? Perhaps, but if the New York beefsteak tradition started in the 1700s, it is less of a stretch, i.e., when New York was a repository of influences from Albion for a considerable time.

In fact, there is some evidence that the New York beefsteak dinner goes back that far. In 1893, an article on clubs in the New York Times stated the “Beefsteak Club” was founded in the city “over a hundred years ago” at the Miller tavern, the locale of Anton William Miller I discussed earlier. Before Miller, it was owned by William Shannon, he was issued a license in 1854 as shown here on the website of the Museum of the City of New York. The handwriting is a little hard to read, the last digit of the date might be 7 or another number, but it was clearly in the 1850s. Billy Miller, who worked for Shannon after immigrating from Germany, became owner some time after.

We can infer from the Times that a tavern was operating at the site – 54 Market Street – much earlier. The handwriting again is a bit confounding, but 54 as civic number appears correct. It is kitty-corner to Monroe Street, which accords with other published accounts.

The story of the original 13 members recounted in the Times story, reflecting the original 13 colonies, can be found in other lore of the New York Beefsteak Clubs. But it does suggest creation of the club before the 1800s, perhaps 1780s. That is not that long after founding of the first Beefsteak Club in London. One of the thirteen’s fathers could have been a member …

By the late 1800s, the last club in London connecte to the Beefsteak tradition was a more elite affair. Its spawn, including I think the club of the 1878 New York menu and, for example, the Melbourne club profiled in this 1889 Melbourne Punch story, were parallel to a more popular tradition that nonetheless had its likely origin in the same source.

I should add that Washington, D.C.’s famed Gridiron Club, the prestigious journalists’ club, is a more distant representative of the haute tradition. Its same golden gridiron symbol prevailed for some of England’s Beefsteak clubs. The same is true of the “Grid”, the famed Oxford dining society which started up not long before the Washington, D.C. institution (1880s).

These latter two never specifically bruited the beefsteak as their symbol, or beer as their defining drink. But they broadly are in the same group, composed of the upper strata or chattering classes of society versus the solid citizen – businessman, mechanic, professional – who typically attended New York beefsteaks c. 1900.

Would you like to see where Billy Miller’s tavern was in Manhattan? See below. It was 54 Market Street, near Monroe St., the address still exists. But the building you see was erected in 1910. So it’s not the same structure, but perhaps gives you an idea of the original atmosphere, factoring changes in New York’s social make-up.

 

 

May Wine Makes the Grade

Among a list of wines, numerous of high repute, discussed in my last post there was a puzzling entry for “strawberry blonde”. Much as I would like it to be a beer, I don’t think it was. I’ve already been disabused of the notion “steinwein” was a beer – see the comments to the last post.

What was it then? I think it was “Mai-trank”, May wine. This is an aromatized mixture of wines traditional in Germany and some other lands. Sweet woodruff is a keynote.

A 1905 piece in the New York Sun explains that May wine is the colour of a blue-eyed Swabian blonde, and that strawberries are sometimes added. It also states, which clinches it in my mind, that woodruff was grown in Staten Island, NY.

Oh, the beefsteak dinner was held in May, 1878.

Below is a picture of a May wine. It looks exactly the hue mentioned in the Sun’s story, and if strawberries are added, well it’s “strawberry blonde”. Case closed, yes?

McAllister’s Four Hundred, and aspirants thereto, didn’t do beer I guess. Or perhaps it was assumed that prevailing customs of the menu’s presumed inspiration, the London Beefsteak Club, did not countenance beer at formal dinners.

But I’d as soon found a beer on that menu…

Note re image: the image above was sourced from this Ardennes tourist website, here. Image is used for educational and historical purposes. All intellectual property therein or thereto belongs solely to its owner or authorized users, as applicable. All feedback welcomed.

 

Further on “Beefsteak” Trail

In further thinking on the beefsteak’s origin (see my last post here), this 1890 description of a beefsteak party, held by a New York cycling club, is noteworthy. The locale was not stated but was obviously William S. Miller’s uptown carpentry shop. The description of the place corresponds closely to two fine depictions, you can see one here, on a beefsteak history page of the Museum of the City of New York.

The article states that the party locale is heir to the “quaint” establishment “down east”. This was obviously his father’s place, Billy Miller’s tavern. It was situated on Market Street near Monroe Street in New York, in the old 7th Ward near the East River. The area now is dominated by a massive bridge approach and 1930s apartment blocks.

The 1890 writer uses the term “Beefsteak Club” to describe the gatherings at père et fils. The 58th Street Beefsteak Club’s meeting place was the Morgue (a hall), on that street. It was not the only club of that name in New York, clearly, but did Billy Miller originate the name for Manhattan?

This is doubtful. Consider this stylish, 1878 menu of a New York Beefsteak Club, preserved in the archives of the Museum of the City of New York. I see little connection to Billy Miller’s as it offers a most luxurious “beefsteak”. Included are vintage wines, numerous fine dishes in addition to the beef, and a lengthy music program.

Despite the luxury, the meal is within the beefsteak ethos. The tip-offs are the Amontillado sherry and the kidney with the beef, typical offerings of many beefsteaks.

Note too the gridiron design at the top. No beer though. Or was there? What is steinwein, and strawberry blonde?

They were probably beer* but expressed euphemistically with deference to a formal affair where turtle, fresh mushrooms, green salad, and French wines were also offered.

In short, this is a menu of nabobs, not nobodies.

Could such uptown swank have been inspired by Billy Miller’s smoky saloon confabs with their makeshift chairs, MIA cutlery and endless cups of old ale? It seems more likely the 1878 Beefsteak Club took menu and nomenclature from London’s elite Beefsteak Club and chophouses of the order of Simpson’s-on-the-Strand. Modest bars like Billy Miller’s probably adopted the moniker in further imitation, perhaps with ironic intent.

See also the discussion here on the origin of the porterhouse steak from The Market Assistant, etc. (1867) by the American, Thomas F. De Voe. It states that a special cut of steak, originally meant for roasting, was cooked on hickory-wood and served with ale or porter in the port area near the financial district. Patrons included pilots and other sea-going types.

Sound familiar?

Even if this story, which is quite plausible to our ears, is not a true or the full explanation, it shows that Billy Miller’s cooking of steaks in an antique bar stove was not unique and different proprietors enjoyed reputation for their version.

We feel that the beef-eating heritage which derived from John Bull’s Britain including its long-lived Beefsteak Club(s), in toto probably gave rise to New York’s beefsteak dinners. It may have started with New York society and went downmarket, or vice versa, but we think it likely one proprietor did not invent the thing or the club name in New York. The fact too that a prominent club, the 58th Street one, was composed of a good number of show people suggests to us direct inspiration from the London Beefsteak Club, which had a similar origin.

But Billy Miller and his son clearly popularized the idea due to their deft hand with the steak and the gridiron, and perhaps they introduced the slices-on-bread idea. The quality of their “dock” sherry and probably their ale didn’t hurt either, surely. The 1893 Tribune story I discussed earlier stated “the deponent [i.e., the reporter] saith not” the meaning of such dock sherry. Gillman knows. It was sherry sent to London from Spain and stored a while in its damp cellars, thus to acquire an ineffable quality.

Note re image: the image above was sourced from the website of the Museum of the City of New York, here. Image is used for educational and historical purposes. All intellectual property therein or thereto belongs solely to its owner or authorized users, as applicable. All feedback welcomed

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*See Ron Pattinson’s comment below which shows the steinwein was almost certainly not beer. Also, see my next post (dated 5/07/16) where I show that strawberry blonde was probably in fact May wine.

 

 

 

 

The American “Beefsteak” – a Deeper Look

 

In a previous post, I suggested that the English Beefsteak Clubs (see the history laid out compactly by Wikipedia here) must have influenced the New York “beefsteak” dinner and creation of New York’s Beefsteak Club. The latter was associated with the Morgue, a 58th Street hall near a liquor store which often hosted beefsteaks in the 1890s.

A beefsteak is an informal, communal dinner, rooted in New York City and adjacent regions from the later-1800s until WW II. It has survived in some outlying regions, Passaic, NJ for example, and is now undergoing revival in Manhattan and other cities.

The beefsteak event was characterized by serving sliced steak on rounds of bread in basic surroundings. There were few accompaniments although beer – originally it was ale – was a sine qua non. 

The earliest accounts explain that men – the affairs were usually male-only until the 1930s – gathered in rude surroundings bereft of cutlery, tables and chairs, or even napkins. Empty crates or kegs were used as seats or, covered with towels, as rude tables. The towels served as napkins, in the fashion of some barbeque restaurants today.

While all classes of society indulged in beefsteaks, they were often associated with middle- and working class men. Business, historical, or political occasions provided the backdrop.

 

 

Food other than meat or bread was, in principle, minimalist, maybe just celery, or perhaps olives. A wider range might be offered depending on who gave the event, but a minimalist spirit prevailed. The meat was usually sirloin or sometimes tenderloin, not chops or roasts, which facilitated slicing and serving canapé-style.

Butter might feature, some accounts state the steaks were dipped in it, some say the bread was.

Sherry figured as an opening drink at some occasions, this was more an upscale flourish.

A course of lamb or mutton chops at the end of the meal also characterized many beefsteaks, giving rise to japes about “dessert”. One would think continued volleys of beef on bread would satisfy the carnivorous urge. Yet, for those who had stomach-room, a last fusillade from a different-calibre weapon was unleashed.

On Twitter, my attention was directed to an 1896 New York World story which credited the beefsteak phenomenon to a William Anton (Billy) Miller. He was a German immigrant who took over a bar called Shannon’s Corner in the 7th Ward. That area fronted on the East River, the Lower East Side, near docks,! butcher shops and meat processing factories. It was not a prosperous district, and saloons and taverns proliferated.

The World story was a detailed look at how Miller cooked steak and states nearby butchers brought him the best cuts to fete their good customers. His particular way of cooking and serving, which had the hallmarks of the later beefsteaks but on a smaller scale, was adopted by a wider public including for uptown “parties”.

I found a similar but not identical account in an 1893 New York Tribune story, but here Miller is called John Miller. I’m prepared to overlook the name inconsistency as the accounts otherwise broadly concur. Perhaps John was one of Billy’s sons. A known son, William S., later held beefsteaks in his carpentry shop using his father’s stove. A picture in the Museum of the City of New York website, see the fourth-to-last image, shows excellent detail including for the beer, as in this instances glasses were used not pewter or porcelain. The beer is dark with a thin white head, probably an ale of some kind.

The 1893 story adds interesting detail on how Miller’s idea spread, involving in part a name well-known to beer fans today – Yuengling.

Did Miller create the beefsteak party which later became a larger event with its essential features preserved?

It is possible, but a couple of points: We have to separate the dinner event from a club of the same name. I believe it unlikely that the albeit loosely-structured Beefsteak Club mentioned in the 1897 Tribune story I referenced yesterday was not inspired by the English Beefsteak Club.

Numerous press stories on mid-1800s New York and London clubs mention the London Beefsteak Club. See a detailed account in Troy, NY,  here. Other press accounts, in New York proper, reference the London Beefsteak Club between 1850 and 1900. None admittedly link it to the New York beefsteak fad, but that isn’t conclusive. For one thing, the world of clubmen and anything coming out of the 7th Ward would not have been connected in stories of this nature.

The point is, the English institution was certainly known in New York, despite the airy statement in the 1893 Tribune account that no such entity existed in Europe. The English club was originally connected to men of the stage. So was New York’s club mentioned. This suggests to me a London influence in the latter’s formation and purpose.

Whether the 58th Street Beefsteak Club created the dinner as a thing is less certain. The fact that two 1890s accounts credit Miller with the idea cannot be easily dismissed. Still, I don’t rule out that such accounts are “heroic” in nature. It can surprisingly difficult to trace the origins of a given food or drink even within one generation, let alone two. (Who really started the Cosmopolitan, Black IPA, poutine, the smoothie?).

Look at the elements of his meal: sliced steak on bread, sherry, ale, and celery, or as later grafted on. All are typically British foods and drinks. Why would a typical American, of the lower ranks of society, drink sherry before beer, for example? Why not whiskey, gin, or cocktail? Or nothing?

Miller, a German, took over an English or Irish-sounding bar. The bar may well have served steaks earlier. The history of the porterhouse steak, and the shared English and American appreciation for beef, underline the long importance beef in Anglo-American culture.

Miller may simply have evolved a particularly popular steak dinner vs. the larger, semi-public event associated with the term beefsteak. But even if Miller influenced the later New York beefsteak, the English elements to my mind, plus the communal/fraternal nature of the beefsteak, point to an influence of London’s Beefsteak Club and the British-American chophouse/porterhouse tradition in creating such events in New York.

Perhaps Miller contributed the idea of serving slices on bread rounds, and eating with one’s hands versus the conventional way to dine. Certainly Stateside, beefsteaks had non-English features but as I stated yesterday the core elements of the early-1700s English and later-1800s American meals are the same: beef, bread or potatoes, ale.

That, and the concurrent existence of London and New York beefsteak clubs suggest to me Miller does not have a decisive role in this story.

We know today that many iconic American drinks and foods have origins in England. Pulled pork does, the cocktail does, apple pie, bacon and eggs, pork and beans, the southern biscuit, it just goes on.

It is probably the same for the beefsteak as quasi-public dinner.

The Museum of the City of New York’s page on beefsteaks is careful to use a qualifying phrase in regard to Miller’s importance, it may be noted as well. Outlining the known history of his role, it states that “some accounts” indicate he created the beefsteak phenomenon.

But possibly Miller’s way with steak had some influence on what became an institution in New York.

I consulted by the way two (excellent) books on Google Books on the history of eating and restaurants in New York, one by William Grimes. I don’t find that they add anything to this discussion.

A third part to this discussion immediately follows.

Note re images: the first image was sourced at the Museum of the City of New York, here, and the second, from the menu archive of the New York Public Library, www.nypl.org, here. Both are used for educational and research purposes. All intellectual property therein belongs solely to their lawful owners, as applicable. All feedback welcomed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where’s The Beef? Read On.

That’s A Lot of Meat

In the research for my “musty ale” article, references abounded to beer, in general, being a keynote of “beefsteak dinners”. I knew vaguely what these were. I had read an article in the New York Times describing such a dinner still held annually in New Jersey.

A beefsteak was a communal dinner, informal in nature, and originally male-only. Of course, beef was the main event. Always, or almost always, beer – not wine, liquor or cocktails – was served. Usually, celery or some kind of simple vegetable was served as well. Apart from the sliced bread the meat was served on, that completed the offering, at least the core of it.

The beefsteak has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years. This apparently began in Manhattan, probably due to chefs reading the New York Times and readers encouraging them to bring back the beefsteaks of old. Articles on the revived dinners usually mention a 1939 article by Joseph Mitchell, of New Yorker fame.

He lauded the beefsteak as a symbol of old Manhattan. The onset of war probably ended any chance of a 1940s revival. Interest in the tradition, even the nostalgic sort, seems to disappear after Pearl Harbor.

The NYT adverted to the earlier history of the beefsteak, which intimately concerns Manhattan. This article in 2012 by Jennifer Wright in the Gloss fills in more of the backstory.

There are catering companies today who will do a beefsteak for you, not just in New York, but Chicago, L.A., and elsewhere. Some dinners are annual ticketed affairs.

The American beefsteak in its heyday was a democratic, somewhat anarchic affair. It was not uncommon for a W. C. Fields, Grampian Hills-like atmosphere to prevail. Today’s beefsteaks are more sedate in nature, due in part perhaps to the mixed company now prevailing.

Around 1900 the events were middle-class or working class in nature. Many were organized by employers for their staff, perhaps to recognize long service. Fraternal and political groups, some connected Tammany Hall, typically held them.

What of the origins of the beefsteak?  An 1897 article in the New York Tribune offered a sardonic but in-depth look. It explained that a joint with the unsettling name “the Morgue”, on West 58th Street, stimulated what had clearly become an institution by the year of writing. The Morgue was a kind of shed adjoining a liquor store, the Gilded Age version of an event space.

In the picture above we see one similar to the description in the Tribune. If you read the legend carefully, it seems Mark Twain was feted at the event.

Minimal decor and furnishings were order of the day for a beefsteak, as seen above. In time tables and chairs became accepted.

The Tribune explained with a dry humour the basic elements of the beefsteak, down to the seasonings for the meat – salt and pepper but oddly sugar too. It mentions that ale was consumed with the dinner but not type or quality. Still, ale was the first thing set on the “tables”, not the steak – reversing the order the journalist, a bit of a bluenose, thought proper.

The Morgue’s affairs were hosted by a Beefsteak Club. This club, democratic in its membership (except for all male), had a predominant element of show people. The New York theatre district was nearby, of course.

While the Tribune doesn’t say so, it seems that beefsteaks migrated to Tammany and beyond from this hub.

Where did Manhattan showpeople get the idea to establish a Beefsteak Club? It had to be from England’s clubs of that name, which have similar theatrical origins. Starting about 1700, actors and others associated with the stage chose beef as centrepiece of their entertainments to symbolize British fraternity and patriotism.

While ale and the tavern were central to the British clubs’ founding, their social composition was always more elite than for the American versions.

Wikipedia has a well-paced elucidation of the English clubs. Their influence on the American beefsteak events seems obvious. Steak, potatoes, porter, and sometimes port were served at the dinners. America careened the idea to more popular, unadorned purposes, but the British origin of the American beefsteaks seems clear.

In its 21st century reincarnation the beefsteak has become gentrified, an irony which nonetheless recalls the overseas origins of the dinners. Beeretseq, for his part, is not opposed to gentrification, an age-old and inevitable process of social development.

Anyway, the core elements of the American beefsteak – beef, beer, a starch, a crunchy vegetable or two – have remained constant. Even when held in suburban New Jersey, contemporary dinners show their distant Manhattan inspiration.

A glass of red wine might make an appearance, or an appetizer of Italian origin, but in sum the Jersey dinners are worthy descendants of the original.

I’ll let the Tribune explain how the oldtime American beefsteaks might end, to serve as my own finis:

The cook goes on cooking as long as he thinks that anybody can be induced to eat steaks. After that he broils a few lamb chops, which are served for dessert. The dinner ends with these, unless there is still some ale left which somebody wants to finish up. After the dinner the guests may entertain one another, if they feel like entertaining, or there may be speaking, if anybody is still able to speak. The safest way, if entertainment is desired, is to hire performers for it who do not join in the dinner.

[See Part II, entitled The American “Beefsteak” – a Deeper Look, here].

Note re image: the image above was sourced from the Brooklyn Beefsteak website, here. It is used for educational and historical purposes. All intellectual property therein or thereto belongs solely to its lawful owner or authorized users, as applicable. All feedback welcomed.

A Creole Dinner in Truman’s America

Rebirth of Culinary Culture

The inaugural dinner of the Baltimore Wine and Food Society (BWFS) was held at the tony Belvedere-Sheraton Hotel in May, 1947. The Belvedere, a Baltimore landmark, is still standing.*

 

 

Not inappropriately for a regional group, it offered a program of regional American food, but not its own. It chose Creole cuisine from New Orleans. This is the menupreserved at the Enoch Pratt Library, part of an archive contributed by the BWFS.

The group’s major domo was Frederick P. Stieff, scion of a German-American family that had made money in pianos. He was an influential figure in the American culinary renaissance that took root with the end of Prohibition in 1933.

But with a major war just ended and the long Depression before, America was still re-discovering sensual enjoyment in food and drink. The consumer society always has strata, and high society, then as now, was carving its version of this new path. Culinary societies such as the BWFS, usually dominated by the bon ton, led the way.

Certainly the BWFS had little to apologize for with this dinner. The offerings were evidently drawn from authentic sources. There was redfish court bouillon, sweetbreads, Jambalaya, cherries jubilee, and more. The dinner was presented by New Orleans native Ednard Waldo. He was a noted author and ethnographer, focusing on Louisiana fish and game, cookery, and travel.

The menu set out a detailed recipe for each dish, in some cases drawn from published cookbooks.

An enviable selection of drinks was served. It probably reflected the practice of traditional New Orleans restaurants such as Antoine’s. To open proceedings there was a Sazerac cocktail. It was made with Park & Tilford straight rye whiskey. Park & Tilford was a carriage trade label, not a crowded segment at the time.

American whiskey hadn’t quite shed its roughhouse image inherited from the 1800s, or the illicit aura that pervaded during Prohibition.

The same whiskey can be found in a 1940s menu of the New York Wine and Food Society, used there for eggnog. But in general, America’s native spirit was rare at gastronomic events until relatively recently. The Baltimore and New York diners were innovators, seeking the regional and authentic of America.

The cocktail recipe is precise. The author wrote that a twist of lemon, used properly to inject the oils of the fruit (vs. the pith), lends the keynote. He wrote too that absinthe should be used. Of course, this was traditional for the drink but the aniseed/wormwood spirit had been illegal since the early 1900s.

Maybe the well-stocked cellar of a BWFS grandee supplied a dusty bottle, or a substitute such as Pernod was used.

The wines were a fascinating, diverse selection, e.g. E & K Ohio sherry, Paul Masson California champagne, a 1929 Musigny (Burgundy), and Chilean chablis. Once again the regional American product was not ignored, even though it would be many years before American wines received benediction from top authorities.

There was also old-fashioned Louisiana orange wine, not the browned white wine of today, but the literal product of navel-type Louisiana oranges.

Taste notes were not included, although they were for the BWFS’s important, 1948 wine tasting I discussed earlier. Perhaps because the inaugural event was a dinner vs. a tasting, emphasis on the wines was kept within certain bounds.

American Creole food early captured the imagination of post-Prohibition gastronomes. Chinese cuisine did too, e.g. from Sichuan. That was the beginning of a trend – by epicures – away from the Chinese-American menu that had taken form since the first Asian immigrations.

So, what was the 1929 Musigny like, at the Belvedere in 1947? This review, from only two years ago at the Winehog site, gives a good idea, from Steen Öhman. Of course, his sample was a little older – 69 years older. Still, he expressed well the attributes of his glass. Sample note:

In the nose deep but slightly fragile mature red fruit .. orange zest .. orange notes .. sous-bois .. pure and quite vibrant. The minerality is energetic offering a lovely view to one of the best places in Chambolle.

The 1947 dinner struck the perfect balance between modernity and a Victorian-shaded old school. In style and presentation, the dinner evoked the traditional but withal told the future.

Perhaps simplified a bit the menu would be lovely to serve today. Most of the wines, or close enough, could be found although the orange wine might be harder. Well, we could make our own.

Recipes are easily available that date to Regency times, and probably earlier. Some are spiced, the citrus version of spiced mead or ale. We could even substitute a fruity, tropical-tasting India Pale Ale.

Beer et Seq is up for it. Meanwhile, he salutes the inaugural diners of the BWFS. Puzzling as the phrase doubtless would be to them, they hit the ground running.

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*Note Comment below by Greg who states building is now a condominium, with some services open to the public.