by Clarence E. Edwords
Clarence E. Edwords’ book is both a culinary history that remains a reference and a reminder of just how different San Francisco has always been, despite how we think it just recently became the capital of the unconventional. Anthony Ashbolt quotes the familiar view of its contemporary Bohemianism as expressed by Jerry Kamstra in The Frisco Kid:
“San Francisco is not American; it’s what’s left of America. It’s the Great Wall of China of America’s forgotten promises! Here in San Francisco have gathered all of society’s children, space-age dropouts from the American dream, Horatio Algers in reverse, descending from riches to rags and gathering now on the corners of Grant and Green in their beads and spangles and marijuana smoke to watch the entire structure crumble.”
But on reading Edwords’ book one concludes that there has always been something very different and Bohemian about the place—food included.