Eat­ing Delancey: A Cel­e­bra­tion of Jew­ish Food

Aaron Rezny & Jor­dan Schaps
  • Review
By – February 24, 2015

Blintzes, kasha var­nishkes, Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, pas­tra­mi on rye, chick­en soup, chopped liv­er — Aaron Rezny has lov­ing­ly pho­tographed these and oth­er Jew­ish del­i­ca­cies in an homage he and co-author Jor­dan Schaps have cre­at­ed to pre­serve and memo­ri­al­ize the foods of their youth. Let’s talk knish­es,” writes Joan Rivers in the book’s fore­word, joined by a long ros­ter of con­trib­u­tors eager to talk about their food mem­o­ries: Jack­ie Mason, Joshua Bell, Mil­ton Glaser, Bette Midler, and Isaac Mizrachi are only a few of the food mem­oirists who tick­le the reader’s appetite.

Eat­ing Delancey is a big fam­i­ly din­ner at which every­one is inter­rupt­ing every­one else with a bet­ter sto­ry. The rem­i­nis­cences and pho­tographs — Rezny’s own as well as archival and per­son­al selec­tions — are topped by Borscht Belt jokes, quips from Franz Kaf­ka to Woody Allen to Mil­ton Berle, and recipes for clas­sic Jew­ish dish­es. Pro­files of Low­er East Side land­marks like Yon­ah Schim­mel, Russ and Daugh­ters, and Sammy’s Rou­man­ian are a reminder of those that are gone — includ­ing Ratner’s and Streit’s Mat­zos, which has sold its 1925 build­ings and is mov­ing its fac­to­ry out of New York. At present no such kosher restau­rants remain on the Low­er East Side.

With its wealth of col­or pho­tographs and large for­mat, Eat­ing Delancey is designed to inspire both mem­o­ries and a trip to the kitchen to whip up some tried and true favorites.

Relat­ed content:

Maron L. Wax­man, retired edi­to­r­i­al direc­tor, spe­cial projects, at the Amer­i­can Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry, was also an edi­to­r­i­al direc­tor at Harper­Collins and Book-of-the-Month Club.

Discussion Questions