That Brady was to die at the age of 56, his stomach swollen to six times its normal size, seems not just comprehensible but inevitable. It's said that when he sat down at a table, he positioned his belly two inches from the edge and didn't slow his intake until the two surfaces touched. Though Brady was certainly exceptional in his capacity, it was routine for wealthy New Yorkers of his generation to eat five meals a day, the least of which might have plunged you or me into a coma of satiety. Such appetites were gratified by the startling profusion of raw ingredients available to a city that had itself been wilderness only a century before. Its surrounding forests still teemed with deer, bears, wild boars, wild turkeys, and the ne plus ultra of the well-set table, canvasback duck. More exotic game could be imported as needed: Alessandro Filippini (who labored in Delmonico's kitchen for a quarter of a century and then became, with Charles's blessing, the keeper of its flame) mentions in his remarkable book, _The Table _(1889), guinea fowl, ruffed grouse, woodcock and snipe, plover, wild pigeon, and antelope as being among the available delights. The Hudson River in those days was a slithering ribbon of bass, shad, salmon, and half-ton sturgeon. (The latter two were so plentiful that salmon was fed to New York's servants until they grew sick of it, and sturgeon roe—caviar—was given away in saloons to make people thirsty, the way peanuts are today.) Enormous lobsters arrived daily from Long Island and Maine, and oysters and clams, virtually the staple foods of the upper class, were underfoot in every bay and inlet. Delmonico's also served, and indeed popularized, vegetables of every kind—artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, eggplants, turnips, tomatoes, and more—grown on the restaurant's own farm in Brooklyn.