reviews

“This lovely essay collection was one of my favorite books of the year: Elegant, fascinating stories about New York’s culinary geography with rich portraits of the people – past and present – who have taken part in its food production…Such a pleasure to read.”
—Village Voice, a Best Food Book of 2012

“A buzzing, savory, lively world comes to life in Robin Shulman’s extensively researched ‘Eat the City’…The book provides what’s missing from much of the breathless media coverage of New York’s modern food artisans: culinary context…That’s history made delicious.”
-Washington Post

“The author, a former reporter for the Washington Post, has employed her skills as a writer and journalist to pull off a rather impressive feat: She has used food to chart the city’s evolution, and to argue that it owes its greatness as an international crossroads, particularly in its early years, as much to food as to industry or culture.”
–The Wall Street Journal

“She discovered ‘an unseen city of thriving food production,’ hiding not only deep in the boroughs but also buried in the archives.”
–The New York Times

“Straightforward, but not overly earnest, and smartly layered, this well-researched social history is organized in seven chapters ordered like the courses of a meal, each of which bears a title such as ‘Honey,’ ‘Meat,’ and ‘Wine.’”
–The Boston Globe

“Shulman connects the city’s past to its present by contrasting what was then with now.”
–The New York Daily News

“Robin Shulman immerses herself in the heart of New York, finding hidden gardens, wineries, abattoirs, and apiaries in the most unexpected places. Through her personal stories, she convinces us that in order to live and eat in a city, we must understand where our food comes from and how it is made.”
– Alice Waters

“Eat the City is about the men and women who came to New York City–now and in the past–and planted gardens, harvested honey, made cheese, and brewed beer and made New York what it is today. Robin Shulman uses their stories to bring this rich history to life and to reflect on the forces that brought immigrants and their food traditions to this city. Not all of these stories have happy endings, but they inform, move, and inspire.”
– Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University and author of What to Eat

“Shulman’s brilliant, transformative book weaves history, journalism, and storytelling into a secret atlas of New York… A profound, surprising, and exquisitely written exploration of how food and its makers, even in the unlikeliest places, keep all of us human.”
– Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey

“Robin Shulman introduces us to today’s trendy fooderati, and then reveals–through careful historical research–that growing food in the city isn’t so new after all.”
– Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City

With beautiful detail, Shulman tells the tale of a city, however rich or poor, that has always wanted to eat well. From a Harlem numbers house that lured gamblers with city-grown produce to a hipster butcher transforming a corner of Williamsburg, Eat the City reminds us that New York’s true foodies live in every corner, in every class, of every borough.
– Tracie McMillan, author of The American Way of Eating

“Robin Shulman’s Eat the City locates a new point on the urban grid: the intersection of the man-made city and the abundance of the natural world. This overlooked New York is home to rows of corn, collards and okra in formerly burnt-out lots, shady rooftop vineyards, and Brooklyn honeybees fed on industrial nectar, courtesy of the local Maraschino cherry plant. Laced with surprises, Eat the City describes the human impulse to harness nature and turn it into food, even in the most unlikely surroundings.”
– Jane Ziegelman, author of 97 Orchard

“Robin Shulman shows the farms beneath the feet of New Yorkers. Hers is an industrial, social, political, and of course culinary geography of the city, with finely observed portraits of the people, young and old, who are intent on following the footsteps of forebears they might not know they had–not just in farming, fishing, butchering, and brewing but in calling for social justice for everyone who produces food.”
– Corby Kummer, author of The Joy of Coffee and The Pleasures of Slow Food

“A lovely, well written and fascinating account of people who built and continue to build New York through its food production, cultivation and creation…Shulman moves seemingly effortlessly between past and present in order to set the amazing stories of the people she writes about within an historical context. That is an amazingly difficult thing to do well.”
– Suzanne Wasserman, Ph.D., Director, the Gotham Center for NYC History/CUNY

“What makes Shulman’s narrative so captivating is the way she emphasizes the relationship human beings have with an urban environment that at first glance is anything but farm-friendly. A feast for foodies of all persuasions.”
– Kirkus Reviews

“Fondly nostalgic, immensely useful…Shulman’s playful mélange of history and journalism celebrates the city’s return as a neighborhood food festival.”
- Publishers Weekly