Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Waldorf What?

March 4 ...

Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana arrived in New York on this day in 1932, and headed straight for the Waldorf Astoria. According to the New York Times, his first statements were to declare that any good Democrat could win the Presidential election, that the country was in trouble because it had departed from the statutes of the Lord, and that the remedy for the Depression was an equitable distribution of wealth. He then ordered a Waldorf Sandwich.

When his sandwich arrived, ‘it wasn’t the old sandwich at all’, so he called Oscar (i.e Oscar Tshirky, or ‘Oscar of the Waldorf’) and complained. Oscar rang ‘a former chef’ for advice, and a short while later the sandwiches ‘prepared in the old Waldorf style’ were sent up. According to the Senator, a real Waldorf Sandwich consisted of:

‘ … slices of chicken, broiled bacon, and Swiss cheese, with lettuce, between two slices of toast, the whole sandwich then being dipped in batter and fried in butter.’

The good Senator advised that in return for the correct sandwich he was going to send Oscar the recipe for “pot likker”, which, he said, was a favourite in Louisiana, and which he himself had helped to popularize. Oscar later made the comment that the addition of the slice of Swiss cheese and the frying of the sandwich was ‘a special order’ (And it appears that he was underwhelmed by the offer of the Senatorial pot likker recipe.)

Oscar was familiar with ‘improvements’ being made to perfectly good culinary ideas. We have seen in a previous story to what lengths people were prepared to go to ‘improve’ the original Waldorf Salad. He would no doubt have been horrified had he lived long enough to discover Waldorf Salad Cookies. Yes, Cookies. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid of Inspiration Striking in Certain Quarters.

There you have it, a triumph of branding – a complete meal, Waldorf style – Salad, Sandwich, and Cookies. Preceded by a Waldorf Cocktail or three of course.

Waldorf Cocktail.
1 ½ ounces bourbon
¾ ounce Pernod
½ ounce sweet vermouth
1 dash angostura bitters
Shake well together with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass

Tomorrow’s Story …

Scurvy Seamen.

Quotation for the Day …

Everyday happiness means getting up in the morning, and you can't wait to finish your breakfast. You can't wait to do your exercises. You can't wait to put on your clothes. You can't wait to get out - and you can't wait to come home, because the soup is hot. George Burns (1896-1996)


Lidian said...

It is too bad that Oscar did not Waldorfize the pot likker or make ice cream with it, to go with the cookies.

The Old Foodie said...

HaHaHa!! Good idea Lidian. Pot Likker Ice-Cream with Waldorf Cookies! Sadly, someone, somewhere, has probably tried it.