**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

by [?]

Upon a certain gladsome occasion a certain man went into a certain restaurant in a certain large city, being imbued with the idea that he desired a certain kind of food. Expense was with him no object. The coming of the holidays had turned his thoughts backward to the care-free days of boyhood and he longed for the holidaying provender of his youth with a longing that was as wide as a river and as deep as a well.

“Me, I have tried it all,” he said to himself. “I have been down the line on this eating proposition from alphabet soup to animal crackers. I know the whole thing, from the nine-dollar, nine-course banquet, with every course bathed freely in the same kind of sauce and tasting exactly like all the other courses, to the quick lunch, where the only difference between clear soup and beef broth is that if you want the beef broth the waiter sticks his thumb into the clear soup and brings it along.

“I have feasted copiously at grand hotels where they charge you corkage on your own hot-water bottle, and I have dallied frugally with the forty-cent table d’hote with wine, when the victuals were the product of the well-known Sam Brothers–Flot and Jet–and the wine tasted like the stuff that was left over from graining the woodwork for a mahogany finish.

The cry has been raised that American cooking is responsible for American dyspepsia, and that as a race we are given to pouring pepsin pellets down ourselves because of the food our ancestors poured down themselves. This is a base calumny. Old John J. Calumny himself never coined a baser one. You have only to look about you to know the truth of the situation, which is, that the person with the least digestion is the one who always does the most for it, and that those who eat the most have the least trouble. Where do you find the percentage of dyspeptics running highest, in the country or the city? Where do you find the stout woman who is banting as she pants and panting as she bants? Again, the city. Where do you encounter the unhappy male creature who has been told that the only cure for his dyspepsia is to be a Rebecca at the Well and drink a gallon of water before each meal and then go without the meal, thus compelling him to double in both roles and first be Rebecca and then be the Well? Where do you see so many of those miserable ones who have the feeling, after eating, that rude hands are tearing the tapestries of the walls of their respective dining rooms?

Not in the country, where, happily, food is perhaps yet food. In the city, that’s where–in the cities, where they have learned to cook food and to serve it and to eat it after a fashion different from the fashions their grandsires followed.

That’s a noble slogan which has lately been promulgated–See America First. But while we’re doing so wouldn’t it be a fine idea to try to see some American cooking?