Yum! (This one's for Barry)

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Tue Nov 13 00:17:00 UTC 2001

The brains back of the tearooms, especially the chains of tearooms,
usually exert every possible bit of human ingenuity of avoid serving
food under a name which would be recognizable instantly.  One New York
tearoom, which has been around a long time, has contributed the
word "Gookum" to American cuisine.  Described on the menu as "the ideal
summer lunch for any one who likes milk and crispy nutty
flavors," "Gookum" is composed of shredded wheat, grapenuts, a crumbled
graham cracker, and half a popcorn ball.  It is served with milk for
thirty five cents.  The addition of half a dozen strawberries and half
a banana jacks the price up to sixty cents. . . .

Creamed peanuts on rice, lamb in ambush (baked chopped leftovers
surrounded with split bananas), and English Monkey (shredded soda
crackers, milk, cheese and one egg cooked in a double boiler) are well
liked in the suburbs. . . .  ***  Then there is an oyster and
grapefruit melange, and a concoction of whipped cream, figs, nuts and
fruits known as Arabian Night's salad.  **  Another creation,
called "Long May It Wave," is a miniature American flag made of cherry
gelatin, whipped cream, and vanilla wafers.  **  Some experts . . .
have recommended that [men] be fed . . . a teaser called "rinktum
diddy," which is a sort of tomato and onion rarebit.  If [a woman]
happens not to have a husband at the time, the recipe inventor
suggested that "if rinktum diddy doesn't land him, nothing will."

Stanley Walker, Mrs. Astor's Horse, N. Y: Frederick A. Stokes, 1935,
pp. 129-33.

(I had intended to stop with Gookum, but my fingers ran away with me.
My apologies.  And my particular regrets if any of these prove to be
someone's favorite recipe.  No offense, eh?


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

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