Father of Tomato Cocktail (1936)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Jun 30 10:04:09 UTC 2003

   More from ancestry.com.  Maybe there's a tomato guy out there who'll find
this of interest.  This information does not appear in SOUPER TOMATOES by
Andrew F. Smith.
   Father of the tomato cocktail?  You go through nine months for that?

   28 June 1936, HELENA DAILY INDEPENDENT (Montana), pg. 13(?), col. 1:
   This year we celebrate the eighth birthday of the ever-popular tomato
juice cocktail and the proud father, Georges Gonneau, chef at the Park Lane in
little old New York is all a-dither.  But, since the estimable Gonneau has been
in America, lo, these several and sundry years, he covers up his dither with a
cold and glassy nonchalance and says, "Pouf--the tomato juice cocktail may be
a wonderful creation and I do not belittle it.  How can one argue against what
the people of the entire world have come to regard as something with which to
open the eye in the morning and with which to promote rested slumber in the
evening, not to say what they do with it the living day?"
   "If it were possible," the good Gonneau continues, "to make, at one time
in one kitchen, all the tomato juice cocktails consumed in this great world in
one day, it would take one single tomato larger than the Quenn Mary and the
Graf Zeppelin and the Normandie all into one, and in the squeezing I would
produce a stream--ah, well, Niagara falls!"
      _And Now Lobster Juice_
   "But, my good friend," Gonneau goes on, "if you think well of my
invention, the tomato juice cocktail, I congratulate both you and myself, but you must
know that instead of sitting back and basking in that fame, it merely aroused
me to still greater accomplishment, and now you should see what I have done
with a lobster.  Here, let me serve you with one!"
   Whereupon we marveled and then remarked casually, "And how do you do
this?" thinking to carry away a grand recipe.  But, no!  The great Gonneau smiled
blandly, winked slyly and then stated with positiveness and directness:
   "You want my secret?  Yes!  I will set it down for you so you can make
these lobster cocktails.  You come here to this Park Lane on Christmas Eve in the
year of the Lord 1999, and if you are here so shall I be, and then I give it
to you!"
   "Ah, yes," we replied.  "The appointment shall be kept to the best of our
ability; but in the meantime, tell us this--what suggested to you the tomato
juice cocktail?"
      _Wanted to be a Cowboy_
   And then came the heretofore hidden truth: It seems that in his boyhood
days in France, Gonneau wished to come to America to become a cowboy on the
western plains.  And by way of preparation he read carefully all of the books on
the subject of punching the cows about.  In one of the most authentic of these
books he learned that on account of the scarcity of drinking water, the
cowboys would carry in their saddle bags tins of tomato puree and open them at
desired moments, deriving much benefit from this juice.  Gonneau undertook to try
this.  He found the pure juice not merely good, but provocative.  It suggested
the application of his art, and so he used his skill as a chef plus his
imagination, and out of the alchemy and magic done with sundry spices, there was
born the tomato juice cocktail.
   Talking thus, the great Gonneau himself prepared for us a splendid
warm-weather luncheon--a tomato juice cocktail and a beef salad in the manner of some
small restaurant in Paris, and revealed to us splendid cherry tart.  Here is
the recipe for the
   _Beef Salad According to Gonneau_
1 lb. short ribs of beef boiled and cut into slivers.
1 celery heart cut into slivers.
2 peeled, medium-sized tomatoes, sliced small and thin.
1 medium-sized onion, also sliced thin.
A bit of watercress and a bit of parsleu, minced together.
6 medium-sized hot boiled potatoes, sliced.
1/2 green pepper in small slivers.
3 chopped fillets of anchovy.
1/2 pimento cut into bits.
2 1/2 tablespoons vinegar.
5 tablespoons olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.
   All this Gonneau mixes in a large salad bowl--that is, first, there go
into the bowl the beef, celery, tomatoes, onion and then the potatoes.  But in a
separate bowl he prepares the dressing: The chipped watercress and parsley,
the green pepper, the anchovy, pimento and a bit of garlic.  To this is brought
the olive oil, little by little, and then the vinegar, and then the salt and
pepper to taste.  Mix gently the dressing to the salad and let it rest for one
hour before asking it to do its pleasant duty.  This one, however, is not to
be set in the ice box.  As a salad, it is a meal.  As a meal, it is a
  With it, a little toasted French bread and sweet butter with some light red
wine and a bit of cheese or maybe a cherry tart.

(This is not on Google.  This is completely new food information to be
recorded...Those cowboys could of had a V-8--ed.)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list