Weekend Reading: Disney’s Turkey Legs, McSorley’s Chili, and More

Perhaps one of the most fascinating things about the always fascinating Truman Capote was his aunt Marie Rudisill. To say she was a firecracker is an understatement. Like her famous nephew, Rudisill was sharp-tongued, enigmatic, and reliably hilarious. In a riveting long-form piece from The Bitter Southerner, SAVEUR contributor Wendell Brock revisits a 1997 interview he did with Rudisill. He reveals amazing anecdotes, airs dirty laundry, as well as shares Rudisill's famous coconut fruitcake recipe. —Keith Pandolfi

If you haven't yet, check out the New York Times' dialect quiz, which includes a lot of food terms. (Is the sweet stuff that you spread on cake frosting or icing? What do you call sweetened carbonated beverages?) Then head over and read the New Yorker's mock version. It made me snort heaven bubbles out of my nose. —Karen Shimizu

[pictured] From Wired comes a slideshow of pictures of teensie dramas acted out by wee figurines—1/87 scale—in landscapes of food. According to the article, the couple that creates and shoots them "shared childhood interests in food and tiny things." A tiny man pumps up a raisin to make it a grape. A woman sun bathes on some apricots. Words don't really do it justice, just take a look. —Sophie Brickman

Some of the world's most accomplished chefs—Rick Moonen, Mary Sue Milliken, Tom Colicchio, and many others—are teaming up for a series of fundraising dinners for Las Vegas restaurant critic and SAVEUR contributor Max Jacobson, who was critically injured when he was hit by a car recently in Sin City. There's a Facebook page for details on purchasing tickets to the dinners, which sound like they're going to be amazing. —Betsy Andrews

Jeff Gordinier at the New York Times takes a restaurant critic's approach to venerable East Village watering hole McSorely's Old Ale House—they famously serve only their own two house beers, but the burger ranks with any in town. In his review, Gordinier references a 1966 Times article by Craig Claiborne disclosing the 150-year-old tavern's recipe for chili (it contains chickpeas, about which Claiborne writes "no one knows why") and corned beef hash, and full of deadpan asides about a trumpet-playing cook, a stolen guestbook, and the tallest man to visit the bar. It's a spectacular snapshot of a place that seemed then—as now—to exist outside of time. —Helen Rosner

I moved from London to Paris when my father took a job with Euro Disney. It was there, in the shiny, sticky walls of Annette's Diner, an American-themed restaurant where the waitresses whooshed around on roller skates, that I tasted my first Oreo cookie. Over the years, the park introduced me to many American food stuffs (oysters Rockefeller in the fake Rainbow Room of the New York-themed hotel! Fried chicken!), so I really enjoyed this New York Times report on Orlando park-goers' food obsession: jumbo, hickory-smoked turkey legs. The 720-calorie drumsticks are monsters, taken from 50-pound male turkeys, but they have a solid four-star rating on Yelp from reviewers who say, "You may think 'Oh it's just a turkey leg' but it is the most delicious turkey leg ever!" I'm so glad to see Disney's weird food magic is still going strong. —Tejal Rao

With a food allergy of my own, I'm familiar with the self-consciousness that comes with going to a restaurant and informing my server that I have special dietary needs. I know that my allergy is legitimate, but there's still a sense of chagrin wondering what the cooks in the kitchen will think, and if they'll disdainfully assume I'm just a picky eater. Luckily, the line at Portland's Ox are well-schooled in accommodating those of us with food allergies—on New Year's Eve, they covered everything from eggs to gluten to mangoes. —Judy Haubert

New York bookstore Kitchen Arts & Letters is an icon—with its exhaustive selection of international, rare, and out-of-print titles, it's a must-visit for chefs, home cooks, and dedicated cookbook fans alike. So I was riveted by writer Regina Schrambling's behind-the-scenes visit with owner Nach Waxman on Eater, in which he reveals all sorts of juicy secrets, like the fact that they'll sometimes claim they don't have a title in stock just because they don't think the buyer is the right person for the book. (And hey, check out all those back issues of SAVEUR on the shelves!) —Helen Rosner

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.