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Eating While Poor, Part 1 Baltimore 1939

Lemon chess pie, recipe below 
Starting a new series today called Eating While Poor. Today's post is inspired by a circa 1939 image of Mullikin Street in Baltimore the home of the Poor Boy Lunch Room. No documented history exist on the restaurant other than its location. However drawing on what I know about restaurants during the same period that catered to poor folk in New York’s Bowery section, I can shed some strictly speculated conclusions on the culinary experience on Baltimore’s Poor Boy Lunch Room “Because it is bought in large quantities and of the quality and kind unsought for by the more expensive [restaurants] the owner is enabled to give good portions for small sums” says the WPA writer Irving Ripps, “and still make an adequate profit.” For example in Depression era New York City, one could order corned beef and cabbage, pig’s head and beans, or pig’s snout with sour Kraut with tea or coffee for 25 cents. For five additional cents you get a large slice of pie. 

Suggested Links:

A Girl Called Jack: http://agirlcalledjack.com/

Frugal Food, BBC Food Programme: [Listen Now 27 min 51 sec] http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/foodprog/foodprog_20130728-1300a.mp3

Tillie’s Chicken Shack of Harlem

Two Old Culinary Traditions