Hangtown Fry

A Gold Rush dish you can still order in San Francisco!


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“We had gone into Hangtown one night for provisions, when we heard that a great strike had been made at a place called Coon Hollow, about a mile distant. One man was reported to have taken out that day about $1,500,” recalled Edinburgh-born artist John David Borthwick, of his 1851 tour of Hangtown’s gold fields.

“The town of Placerville—or Hangtown, as it was commonly called—consisted of one long straggling street of clapboard houses and log cabins, built in a hollow at the side of a creek, and surrounded by high and steep hills...,” he wrote. “There were boarding-houses…which forty or fifty hungry miners sat down three times a-day to an oilcloth-covered table, and in the course of about three minutes surfeited themselves on salt pork, greasy steaks, and pickles.... The counter served also the purpose of a bar…on shelves above them was an ornamental display of boxes of sardines, and brightly-coloured  tins of preserved meats and vegetables with showy labels, interspersed with bottles of champagne and strangely-shaped bottles of exceedingly green the middle of which was invariably a small table with a bench, or some empty boxes and barrels for the miners to sit on while they played cards, spent their money in...

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