On Milk Street Radio, food anthropologist Valerie Gordon shows us that resurrecting these long-lost desserts from the legendary restaurants they originate from is just as easy as it sounds. It’s not.
“I’ll see what’s available on that dessert. I’ll go through some information on the internet, in the library, and I’ll talk to people to see if this something that can be resuscitated,” Gordon says. “There needs to be enough information at my disposal to start to piece together the various aspects of the recipe to bring it back to life. I won’t say that it’s truly a recreation until people who knew the dessert and have a strong sense of sense memory sign off on it and say, ‘You’ve got it.’”
Is there a dessert you wish would come back? We hear she’s open to suggestions... Don’t miss the interview, and get a look at the almost forgotten treats below.
Blum’s Coffee Crunch Cake
The iconic Blum's pastry shops in San Francisco closed in the 1970s, but luckily Gordon has recreated their signature cake, featuring coffee whipped cream frosting and a coffee-flavored honeycomb.
Chasen's Banana Shortcake
Does dessert get any better than banana rum ice cream sauce? Chasen's Restaurant in Hollywood had it right. (No wonder it was the site of Academy Awards parties during Hollywood's golden age.)
Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake
If you put grapefruit on something, it has to be healthy, right? At least that's what the owner of Hollywood's Brown Derby said, which led to this mid-century classic with cream cheese frosting and fresh grapefruit slices on top.
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